FCC to impose record fine on CBS for Jackson breast incident

The FCC will impose a total of $550,000 in fines against CBS-owned stations resulting from the network’s Super Bowl halftime broadcast during which singer Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed, according to reports in several national newspapers.

The total was derived from each of the 20 CBS-owned stations being fined $27,500. Viacom owns CBS.

According to press reports, when the commission issues the fines, CBS affiliates will be spared any financial responsibility. More than 200 CBS affiliates aired the Super Bowl.

Since the Jackson incident, momentum to increase fines against broadcasters airing indecency has grown. The House has voted to up fines to $500,000 per incident and the Senate voted 99 to 1 in June to increase fines to $275,000 per incident.

Reports indicate the decision to fine CBS-owned stations was unanimous. The commission is expected to announce its fines this week.

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