Call TV quiz shows are an example of television programmes provided by commercial broadcasters in order to increase their revenue. The viewer watches the live broadcast, then sends a text message or makes a premium rate telephone call in order to take part, with the broadcaster keeping a proportion of the call revenue. The Culture Committee has decided to examine this development, and whether some form of regulation is required since the programmes seem to be another means of gambling, with some members of the public complaining about them. This report therefore has set out a number of recommendations as to how broadcasters and regulators should address this. The Committee states that there seems to be a lack of fairness and transparency throughout the process. For example, players are generally not told that it is a matter of luck whether a call is connected to the studio and that the chances of getting through are very slim. Also the cost of calling is not always made as clear as it might be, or the amount players might have to spend to win a prize. Primary responsibility for maintaining confidence in the Call TV quiz show format rests with the operating companies and the broadcasters. The Committee believes that the guidance drawn up by the two main regulators, Ofcom and ICSTIS does not go far enough; the Committee also states that Call TV quiz shows should constitute gaming under the Gambling Act 2005, and the Culture Department and the Gambling Commission should consider this as a matter of urgency; operators should have voluntarily introduced practices intended to help viewers who make repeated premium rate calls appreciate how much they are spending; also some assessment of the addiction to participation in such shows should be undertaken; viewers should be made aware that puzzles on Call TV quiz shows have a cryptic element, and that Ofcom should make it obligatory to have games verified with a third party and solutions lodged with them to prevent underhand changes being made while the show is on air; Ofcom should also publish periodic reports on its monitoring of Call TV quiz programmes; any practice of misleading viewers about call volumes or of blocking of calls would be unfair and fraudulent and should be punished under criminal law; the Committee recommends that broadcasters should be required to display some recent historical information about volume of incoming calls, and the odds of being connected to the studio; also that a single body, Ofcom, take responsibility for registering all complaints.Mr Herbert: A recent programme I saw said something like aquot;Ap6, 000 a think what a difference that would make to your Christmasaquot;. ... make a call it is costing them, they are paying that money and thinking they are going to win and not knowing just how much money is going ... It is our view that such legitimately operated prize draws should not be restricted by any recommendations made by the Committee.
|Title||:||Call TV Quiz Shows|
|Author||:||Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, Parliament, House of Commons, Great Britain, Media and Sport Committee Culture|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2007-01|