The 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled for a second time that the FCC didn’t have the right to fine CBS Corp for airing Janet Jackson’s famed wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004. The commission fined the network $550,000 for “fleeting” indecency after it showed Jackson’s bared breast for less than a second as part of her outfit was torn away by co-performer Justin Timberlake during the performance, which was seen by 89.9 million viewers. CBS appealed the fine, and the appeals court voided it in 2008. The case went to the Supreme Court, which vacated the judgment and sent it back to the appeals court. Today’s ruling was made on the same grounds as the first one: that the FCC didn’t give broadcasters fair warning about a shift in indecency enforcement. “While we are disappointed by the court of appeals decision, we note that the court overturned the FCC’s 2006 forfeiture order on narrow procedural grounds,” the FCC said in a statement. “In the meantime, the FCC will continue to use all of the authority at its disposal to ensure that the nation’s broadcasters fulfill the public interest responsibilities that accompany their use of the public airwaves.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.