The US Supreme Court has ordered re-examination of a ruling that threw out a fine over Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction' during the 2004 Super Bowl.

Regulators fined CBS TV $550,000 (£368,000) in September 2004 for showing a glimpse of Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl half time show.

But in July last year an appeals court rejected the penalty, because "isolated or fleeting material did not fall within the scope of actionable indecency".

Now the high court has backed the watchdog and has left the case to a lower court to decide.

In a statement, CBS said: "We are confident that in reviewing the case the Third Circuit will again recognize that the Super Bowl incident, while inappropriate and regrettable, was not and could not have been anticipated by CBS.

"This remains an important issue for the entire broadcasting industry because it recognizes that there are rare instances, particularly during live programming, when despite best efforts it may not be possible to block unfortunate fleeting material."

Some 90 million viewers saw the incident, when Justin Timberlake reached for Jackson's bra and the 'malfunction' occurred.

The broadcaster CBS received about 542,000 complaints.

04/05/2009 18:26:05