MEDIA
04/20/2011 08:27 am ET Updated Jun 20, 2011

'X Factor' Avoids Punishment For Rihanna, Aguilera Performances

The British version of "The X Factor" has avoided punishment for airing two raunchy dance routines by Christina Aguilera and Rihanna on its season finale.

British media regulator Ofcom issued a report on Wednesday of an investigation into the show, which drew thousands of complaints from viewers for the scantily clad numbers by the two pop stars. The "X Factor" finale aired from 7-9 PM on Saturday, December 11. Under British rules, 9PM is the "watershed hour," after which adult content can be shown.

Ofcom said that the show had brushed up against "the limits of acceptability" for a pre-watershed show, but had not crossed the line. The ruling means that ITV, the network which airs the "X Factor," will avoid a fine or other form of punishment.

Ofcom also criticized the Daily Mail newspaper, which it said had whipped up outrage in its coverage of the scandal by showing pictures of the performances that were actually more provocative than what viewers saw on television.

All in all, the report is a good example of the granular manner with which Ofcom regularly approaches its investigations into potential violations of its code. The report examines camera angles and context and even delivers detailed descriptions of the dancers' outfits in Aguilera's routine.