WASHINGTON — Following up on a ruling from last week, the Supreme Court on Monday revived a possible $550,000 fine against CBS for having shown a split-second image of Janet Jackson's breast during a Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.
In a one-line order, the justices set aside a federal appeals court ruling in CBS' favor. The Philadelphia court had ruled that the Federal Communications Commission did not give broadcasters enough notice of a policy change on "fleeting images" of "indecency" and that the display of nudity was likely inadvertent.
Now, the appeals court will have to reconsider that conclusion.
Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the FCC's zero-tolerance policy for the broadcast of "fleeting expletives."
The Parents Television Council praised the justices for "siding" with families in the Super Bowl case. Members of the Los Angeles-based group had bombarded the FCC with complaints after the halftime broadcast.
But CBS downplayed the court's order. "The Super Bowl incident, while inappropriate and regrettable, was not and could not have been anticipated by CBS," the network said.