National Football League commissioner Paul Tagliabue is scheduled to testify before a House subcommittee Wednesday regarding a bill that would impose a tenfold increase in fines against broadcast outlets that violate federal indecency rules.
Tagliabue is to appear before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet less than two weeks after the infamous MTV: Music Television-produced Super Bowl halftime show that concluded with the dramatic exposure of pop diva Janet Jackson's breast.
The NFL condemned the incident. Viacom Inc., owner of CBS and MTV, also apologized. Viacom president and chief operating officer Mel Karmazin and all five FCC commissioners are also expected to testify before the House panel.
The Federal Communications Commission, which has received more than 200,000 complaints, has launched an investigation that could cost 200 CBS stations up to $27,500 each. Under the bipartisan House bill, the maximum fine would move to $275,000.
Cable operators are not covered by FCC indecency rules, which, among other things, prohibit the broadcast of "patently offensive" sexual activities between 6 a.m.-10 p.m., when children are expected to be in the audience.
All five FCC commissioners are also expected to testify Wednesday on broadcast indecency before the Senate Commerce Committee. However, Tagliabue and Karmazin are not scheduled to appear.