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CBS fined for 'nipplegate'

September 23, 2004 11:20 IST

In the second big blow in a week to CBS, the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday slapped CBS Television's parent Viacom Inc. with a $550,000 fine for broadcasting Janet Jackson's bare breast during the Super Bowl halftime show in February.  

The incident which became famous as 'nipplegate' , sparked protests from viewers across the world demanding action against indecency on television.

"The U.S. Constitution is generous in its protection of free expression, but it is not a license to thrill," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell, after the five commissioners voted unanimously to impose the maximum fine of $27,500 per airing on each of the 20 CBS stations Viacom owns.

Earlier this week, the CBS news division had to apologise for a 60 Minutes report on President Bush's National Guard service based on documents which were later found to be forged.

Viacom, which has 30 days to respond to the fine order, said it would review the ruling before deciding on a course of action.