The Super Bowl is regularly viewed by more than 100 million people and is the biggest TV event of the year in the US. American broadcaster NBC has apologized after M.I.A. put her middle finger up during her Super Bowl half-time performance.
"We apologize for the inappropriate gesture that aired during half-time," said spokesman Christopher McCloskey. "It was a spontaneous gesture that our delay system caught late." The screen was briefly blurred after M.I.A.'s gesture in a failed attempt to cut out the camera shot.
The broadcaster said M.I.A. did not do anything similar during rehearsals and the league had no reason to believe she would do anything during the show.
"The NFL hired the talent and produced the half-time show," said Christopher McCloskey. "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.
"The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans."