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NFL on star search

The Boss, Jones top list for '08 Super Bowl

Although it is 11 months away, the National Football League has already started a short list of entertainers it would like to see perform at next year’s Super Bowl.

Bruce Springsteen and Norah Jones are at the top of the list. The NFL is hoping the recent successes of Prince, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney can be used as leverage to bring in the Boss while Jones would be ideal to sing the National Anthem during the pregame ceremonies, according to NFL VP of programming Charles Coplin.

The league is starting to approach performers “earlier than ever before in our history,” said Coplin. “The music business is go-ing through some hard times. Performers care deeply about their album sales, and an appearance on the Super Bowl can move the needle dramatically.”

Coplin points to the sales that followed Prince’s performance at this year’s Super Bowl. His overall album sales in the follow-ing week more than doubled to 31,000 and his digital downloads rose to 102,000 from 59,000.

The Rolling Stones’ halftime performance at the 2006 Super Bowl led to a 34% jump in sales of the group’s “A Bigger Bang” album, and Paul McCartney engineered a triple-digit gain in two of his albums following 2005’s halftime show.

Performers like Springsteen and Jones “may have formed a misguided perception that the NFL will be meddlesome,” said Coplin, referring to the league’s reaction to the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction fiasco at the 2004 game.

Although the NFL doesn’t pay halftime performers any fees, he said that if Prince were buying time on the Super Bowl to promote his albums, a 12-minute set would be worth more than $62 million, based on the cost of $5.2 million for one minute of advertising time.

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