August 20, 2014

Dumb NFL decision isn't the first.

Why?
The NFL has changed its Superbowl business model, asking halftime musical performers to pay for the privilege to play. It's not the first time the "No Fun League" has made a bad business decision. True, the NFL has made numerous beneficial decisions, but really its success is predicated on having a great product. So why is asking performers to pay to play a bad idea? It's based on a bad premise.

The NFL provides a platform to a performer to reach a billion plus viewers, and there is certainly value in that. So why not capitalize on the value and ask performers a fee to play? Firstly, it's really hard to argue that the NFL does not also benefit tremendously from a half time show that can attract new demographics to watch the game. New viewers, increased potential for advertising revenue and simply a more memorable event (i.e. buzz - remember the wardrobe malfunction?), add up to real incremental value for the NFL.

The NFL decision seems to be premised on the notion that every transaction must be a zero-sum game. No one benefits except at the expense of another. But great halftime acts provide a mutually beneficial relationship. Trying to squeeze performers comes off as petty.

If I were Coldplay or any other potential halftime act for this year or in the future, I would most certainly boycott playing the NFL halftime show. One year of no high profile performer would certainly change the NFL's tune.
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