rihanna, coldplay, katy perry

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Coldplay at the Super Bowl? Talk about music to our ears—unless, they're unwilling to cough up the cash, that is.

A new report published today in the Wall Street Journal claims the NFL has already established three frontrunners for the 2015 halftime performance: Katy Perry, Rihanna and Coldplay. But now there's apparently a cash-fueled catch behind the iconic gig.

Namely, artists will have to pay to play.

Upon informing the musical acts of their candidacy, the National Football League also asked the hitmakers' representatives if they would be willing "to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Beyonce, Super Bowl, 2013

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Unsurprisingly, WSJ says the request was ill-received by the halftime contenders, as artists have never previously paid to perform at the annual championship game.

Likewise, musical acts have never received any monetary compensation from the league and were instead paid in publicity. In order to capitalize on the widespread exposure, many artists, including Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, have announced their tours immediately following their performance, hoping to see a spike in ticket sales.

While it's currently unclear how much money the league is seeking, NFL spokeswoman Joanna Hunter tells E! News that the only goal is "to put on the best possible show."

"Our contract arrangements with artists are confidential," Hunter said.

Bruno Mars, Anthony Kiedis

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The upcoming Super Bowl XLIX is expected to take place on February 1, 2015 at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Last year, Bruno Mars graced the stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but despite his killer performance, the "Locked Out of Heaven" singer found himself on the receiving end of backlash, with some claiming he wasn't a big enough star to accept the highly coveted gig.

"I did hear that, and I think that was by far the most disgusting thing I think I've heard," Mars told Ellen DeGeneres in response to the critics before delivering a heartfelt speech to aspiring musicians.

Like his predecessors, Mars was not paid for his performance and was instead rewarded with the rise of his starpower. "He'll be playing what amounts to a 12-minute commercial for himself, which should boost sales for concert tickets, albums and merchandise," Forbes reported in January, just prior to the singer's performance. "For context, a 30-second ad costs about $4 million this year."

The Super Bowl XLVIII game, which saw the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Denver Broncos, was the most-watched game ever, bringing in 111.5 million viewers.

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