09/08/2004 at 07:00 AM EDT
Janet Jackson's bared breast apparently will cost 20 CBS-owned stations $27,500 each, or $550,000, in a fine imposed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
The penalty is actually a compromise reached by the five FCC commissioners, reports Reuters. The watchdogs are going to let CBS affiliates off the hook when it comes to having to pay up for the brief flash of skin.
Jackson, 38, caused a stir when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of her bodice during the Super Bowl halftime show in February. He later blamed her exposure on a "wardrobe malfunction."
Following a loud outcry against the incident, which resulted in clampdowns across the airwaves (even affecting shock jock Howard Stern), the FCC was unanimous in voting to fine the 20 CBS-owned stations, in a decision reportedly reached last week.
A public statement announcing the fines is due from the FCC in a few days, says the news service.
"We would be extremely disappointed in such a ruling," responded CBS spokesman Dana McClintock. "While we regret that the incident occurred and have apologized to our viewers, we continue to believe that nothing in the Super Bowl broadcast violated indecency laws."