The NFL and NBC are keeping alive a new tradition when it comes to half-time entertainment during America’s number on media event: The Super Bowl. The tradition is: Select an artist who is a mortal lock not to undergo a wardrobe malfunction at any time during the performance. This time around that artist will be Bruce Springsteen. He comes on the heels of Tom Petty. Other acts since the infamous 2004 turn from Janet Jackson and accomplice Justin Timberlake have included Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, and Prince.
RBR/TVBR observation: What the post-Jackson artists have in common is the fact that they’re getting on in years, and also are not so much in need of a career jump-starting event, as was arguably the case with Jackson. The aftermath of her fraction of a second semi-bared breast has been a massive outcry and a ten-fold increase in broadcast indecency fines, even though the FCC’s $550K fine against CBS for the Jackson incident was overturned in the courts. The new top-drawer fine has yet to be wielded, although whether that’s due to improved behavior from broadcasters, increased fear from broadcasters and an accompanying chilling effect of free speech, or fear by regulators to wield such a fearsome weapon, remains to be seen. Even though some of the post-Jackson acts would have been highly risky in their youth (and here we’re particularly thinking about Prince and the Stones), we suspect The Boss will honor NBC’s wishes and avoid pouring any further fuel on the fire.