It might seem shocking, but due to the hefty production costs of coordinating the extravaganza, the league makes A-list talent take to the stage pro-bono. Some estimates put the halftime show costs at $10 million, which means the NFL is presumably -- and ironically -- too cash-strapped to pay a headlining performer.
“We do not pay the artists,” an NFL spokesperson explained to Forbes last year. “We cover expenses and production costs.”
So what's the incentive for halftime performers? The show basically doubles as a massive commercial to promote the artist. 114.4 million people watched the game on NBC in 2015. That's a surefire way to promote Timberlake's new album, Man of the Woods, or just remind the world that he still exists before we're all distracted by "Dilly Dilly" chants again.