Singer M.I.A, upstaged Madonna at the Super Bowl halftime show by flipping her middle finger in front of millions of viewers during the most-watched telecast of the year.

While there were no wardrobe malfunctions to match that of Janet Jackson's nip-slip eight years ago, M.I.A managed to provoke almost as much outrage by flipping the bird as she sang an expletive.

NBC apologized for the incident. The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologize to our fans, Brian McCarthy, spokesman for the NFL, told the Associated Press.

NBC made an effort to cut out the camera shot, but most of the 110 million NBC viewers got a glimpse of M.I.A's middle finger before the screen blurred.

The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show, NBC spokesman Christopher McCloskey said. Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.

When Jackson underwent her infamous nip-slip in 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) tried to fine CBS $550,000. When the network challenged the fine, a federal appeals court ruled against the FCC, concluding the agency changed its policy by fining CBS for the nudity.

Although M.I.A's move didn't cause as big an outrage as Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, the singer has been criticized for deliberately flipping the move that had not featured in rehearsals.

Here's how people reacted to the incident on Twitter:

Josh Jackson: M.I.A didn't flip us all off. She just has a middle finger malfunction.

Loni Love: Thanks for flipping the finger M.I.A...now next year the halftime performers will be The Beach boys and Wayne Newton.

Neal Rogers: Note to M.I.A: If you're performing with Madonna during Super Bowl halftime, you're not anti-establishment, no matter how hard you try.

Tyler Oakley: M.I.A gave the middle finger to the camera during the halftime show? Wow. So Edgy. I can barely contain my yawn. What a joke

Marc: I don't understand all the fuss about M.I.A giving the middle finger during half time. I thought Dior Couture Fall 2011 was more offensive.

Steve Johnson: After the Super Bowl, I can't decide who is classier, Go Daddy or M.I.A?

Dustin Rogers: Congratulations to M.I.A on being the last person under 50 ever allowed to perform at Super Bowl again.

Rich Eisen: The big finish of Madonna's halftime show, M.I.A not pictures

Here's a video of the halftime show: