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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Janet flash prompts new TV rules
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake
Janet Jackson's performance caused an outcry in the US
US TV giant Viacom has "tightened up" its decency rules in the wake of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl breast flash.

The company owns both CBS, which broadcast the game, and MTV, which was behind the half-time show during which the infamous Jackson incident happened.

Chairman Sumner Redstone said Viacom was "not a culprit, we were a victim" - but was more careful after the flash, which provoked 200,000 complaints.

"We are very conscious of the issue and we are watching it," he said.

Viacom has also been in trouble over radio "shock-jock" Howard Stern, whose show is produced by Viacom subsidiary Infinity.

Sumner Redstone, Viacom's chairman
Mr Redstone said he wanted to reach the "enormous" gay market
The show was recently fined $27,500 (15,200) for a 2001 broadcast that caused complaints over its description of sexual acts.

Meanwhile, Viacom, which also owns channels including Nickelodeon, is planning to launch a gay cable channel.

Mr Redstone said he was in discussions with cable operators over a gay and lesbian service.

At the launch for the new Latin VH1 channel in Mexico City, he said the gay network would be "a good channel for them, and a good channel for Viacom".

He said there was no reason why Viacom should not try and reach "such an enormous demographic".

The channel will succeed
Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone
"We are prepared to give it a go, and I'm optimistic about it," he said. He was not concerned about opposition from conservative religious groups, he added.

"The channel will succeed, I believe," he said. "And we will not be deterred by nay-sayers."

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr Redstone said Viacom should not have shelved plans for the service two years ago because it could now be worth $1bn (550m).

The plans for the channel come in the wake of the success of US makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where five gay stylists help a heterosexual man improve his image and home.


SEE ALSO:
Janet Jackson flash 'accidental'
30 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
'Huge fines' for US TV indecency
04 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
'Shock jock' slams Janet backlash
27 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Politicians' fury at Janet flash
12 Feb 04  |  Entertainment


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