Now MPs probe premium rate TV quiz channels

Parliament

An influential committee of MPs is to probe the growing number of premium rate TV quiz channels to determine whether they need to be brought under tighter regulatory controls.

The inquiry by the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, chaired by Tory MP John Whittingdale, follows an investigation by The Sunday Times last month in which Channel 4's Quiz Call admitted blocking callers from answering questions for up to 40 minutes.

Channel 4 has since said it is in advanced talks aimed at selling Ostrich Media, maker of Quiz Call, ahead of an expected probe into participation TV by Ofcom and a Gambling Commission inquiry which could see TV quiz channels treated as lotteries.

The committee said it was interested in hearing evidence on:

  • The procedures for handling calls from viewers
  • Information provided to viewers on the costs of calls and their chances of participating and winning
  • The role of 'Call TV' quiz shows in raising income for broadcasters
  • The impact, financial or otherwise, of participation on viewers
  • Whether further regulation of Call TV quiz shows is required.

Lovelace Consulting  |  25.10.2006

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