The unexpected end to singer Janet Jackson's performance at last year's National Football League Super Bowl game sparked outrage and discussion about what is considered decent for U.S. commercial broadcast airwaves. The National Football League is doing what it can to make sure the widely followed event does not contain any surprises this year.
The incident lasted just a split second as the field at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas darkened following the Super Bowl halftime show last year. Most television viewers missed the so-called wardrobe malfunction that exposed Janet Jackson's right breast. The moment went unseen by virtually all the fans in the stadium. But thanks to countless video replays and still images, vivid discussion of what happened has lasted throughout the year.
On Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida, legendary rock musician Paul McCartney will be the featured performer.
The former Beatle is no stranger to the NFL championship game. At Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, Louisiana, he appeared as part of a pre-game tribute following the 2001 terrorist attacks just four months earlier.
The NFL sought McCartney as this year's entertainment centerpiece to help repair the tarnish from last year. The FOX television network, which is the U.S. broadcast host this year, has endorsed the choice, and perhaps is breathing a sigh of relief. The CBS network and its affiliates were fined more than $500,000 by government broadcast regulators following Janet Jackson's indecent performance.
The theme of Super Bowl XXXIX is "Building Bridges" - representing both the Jacksonville landscape with its many river bridges, and NFL charity and community efforts. Halftime show organizers say Paul McCartney's music bridges generations, countries, cultures and musical genres.
Watched by a record 144.4 million viewers in the United States last year, the Super Bowl is annually the nation's highest-rated television program and the most-watched single-day sporting event. The game will also be broadcast in more than 200 countries worldwide at 2330 Universal Time.
More musical acts, including local performer A.B. Rock, will be on the field before the game in a tribute to current and former members of the U.S. military. Country star Gretchen Wilson will team with the legendary Charlie Daniels Band. The group Black Eyed Peas will perform with rhythm and blues legend Earth, Wind and Fire. Grammy award-winning singer Alicia Keys will sing 'America the Beautiful' in a special tribute to the legendary Ray Charles, who grew up near Jacksonville and passed away in June 2004.