CBS Plans to Block On-Air Publicity Stunts

New Transmission Delay Implemented for Live Grammy Broadcast

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NEW YORK ( -- In the wake of the Janet Jackson-Justin Timberlake debacle, CBS is implementing new procedures to block the airing of public relations stunts by participants in Sunday's live broadcast of the 46th annual Grammy Awards show.

CBS is implementing delayed-transmission procedures for the upcoming live Grammy Awards show.

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The network said it is instituting an enhanced transmission delay procedure that will allow unacceptable behavior or language to be deleted before it can be seen by the TV audience.

Delete audio, video
"The enhancement will include the ability to delete both ... audio and video footage from the broadcast," according to a statement from the Viacom-owned broadcaster. In the past CBS has used a five-second delay for audio transmissions. They have not yet determined how long the Grammy audio/video delay will be.

"The new procedure," the statement said, "is being put in place to safeguard against any unexpected and inappropriate content being broadcast during the awards ceremony."

AOL 'makegoods'?
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman at America Online, which spent approximately $10 million at the Super Bowl to promote its new "top-speed" dial-up service, declined to say whether the company would ask CBS for "makegoods" for lost online users. AOL also sponsored the now-controversial halftime event and planned to make it available as a streaming online video on, but canceled that after the Federal Communications Commission called for an inquiry into the show.

Makegoods refers to free commercial time given by networks to advertisers used to meet ratings guarantees. During the halftime show, Mr. Timberlake was singing a duet with Ms. Jackson, who was dressed in a leather gladiator-like outfit. As the song ended Mr. Timberlake yanked at Ms. Jackson's right breast, exposing the breast and the nipple. Mr. Timberlake has called the incident "a wardrobe malfunction."

AOL said its deal with CBS also provided AOL a seven-day exclusive for streaming the show on AOL and

'Part of the deal'
"It was part of the deal. It was all together," a company spokeswoman said. After the breast-baring incident, AOL decided not to go ahead with its plans, potentially depriving the site of a significant online audience.

A spokesman at CBS said the makegoods issue was not the network's problem because it does not sell the halftime sponsorship, the National Football League does.

A spokeswoman at AOL's media agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media, declined to comment.

One top media buyer from another Interpublic media shop, said he thought makegoods were not appropriate in this case. "Why take advantage of an already bad situation when it's just not warranted? [The breast-baring] was definitely inappropriate and if you're [the FCC] it was illegal, but MTV didn't plan it and CBS didn't plan it."

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