Is Super Bowl Halftime Act Too Old?
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Yesterday, when the NFL and CBS announced that "The Who" would be the halftime act for Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 in Miami, a news story describing the announcement referred the group as an "ancient band."
The official word also was greeted with a roll of the eyes from critics, who think the NFL has gone too conservative with older performers since Janet Jackson's "Wardrobe Malfunction" at the game in 2004.
Since that time, the halftime performers for the Super Bowl have been Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.
Add The Who to that bunch and you have a halftime performer who steps to the Super Bowl stage with an average of almost 39 years of professional experience.
The perception is that this is just the NFL being conservative, but league officials say their recent choices have more to do with appeasing the huge crowd that tunes into the game.
"For the 12-minute halftime show during a three and a half hour football game, we try to present entertainment that is suitable for a massive audience," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. "We look for acts that are big and have worldwide appeal."
McCarthy added that "the 150 million people in the US who watched last year's halftime featuring 60-year-old Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band certainly seemed to enjoy the show."
The NFL doesn't just pick acts out of nowhere. McCarthy said that the league looks for performers who are on tour or are about to go on tour. The Who's Roger Daltrey has been on the road the last month and a half on his "Use It Or Lose It" tour, which concludes on Monday.
The league has picked younger acts for its recent kickoff concerts, including Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson.
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