Monday, May 04, 2009

'Wardrobe malfunction' case could still mean fine for CBS

The CBS television network could once again face a fine for the wardrobe malfunction involving Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

The Federal Communications Commission wanted to fine CBS $550,000 for the incident, which lasted 9/16 of a second, but a federal appeals court decided to set the fine aside. On Monday, however, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the appeals court.

The Supreme Court's decision means that TV stations and networks once again face the specter of fines for even fleeting, one-time slip-ups.

This is the second time in two weeks that the Supreme Court ruled on lewd behavior or language on TV. In a case last week, the Supreme Court ruled that regulators can fine television and radio broadcasters for letting "fleeting expletives" slip through. Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps called the ruling "a big win for America's families."

Variety is following the story.

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