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article imageThe TV Gamble Will Become The Unreachable

By Michelle Duffy     Mar 26, 2007 in Entertainment
Media regulator Ofcom has warned ITV and Channel Four broadcasters that complaints will become a regular thing to deal with. At the same time, we are warned that the TV phone-in quiz becomes a gamble and a half to win anyway
In a report from the BBC, TV watchdog, Ofcom warn the public to not bother with TV quizzes because the likelihood of a win, is fairly impossible.
When complaints are still coming in thick and fast about phone-in's since the scandal broke out about some of the major TV programmes swindling money out of their viewers, can the broadcasters ever win back the confidence of the public?
When Ofcom calls for tighter regulations within the broadcasting companies, it is time for some serious talk. The regulating 'big brother' has been on the tail of ITV and Channel Four, to name the big players and have reported on such TV phone-in quizzes as having "inaccurate and/or misleading clues" making it virtually impossible to win.
Since the start of the inquiry led by Ofcom, some of TV's major programmes have been under the microscope, including 'Ant And Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway,' which is currently one out of twenty being investigated. This particular show relies on it's viewers watching at home as well as the studio audience for it's contestants.
In a statement by the watchdog, it said, "it is essential that the demands of any competition on its audience are reasonable. "We consider it necessary to remind broadcasters that they must take particular care in ensuring that there are rigorous compliance procedures in place."
Icstis, who is the watchdog for premium rate phone lines has also investigated how phone lines have been operated on 15 separate shows, including Channel 4's Richard and Judy and BBC One's Saturday Kitchen. All shows which control a vast amount of the viewing public at prime times, particularly at the weekends.
The shows will be regularly checked from now on, but will this be enough to engage public interest in taking part in such quizzes again?
The broadcasters have learnt a lesson - not to fool the viewer and as viewers, we can excuse that. However, we are a stubborn bunch, and I would guess that some shows who will find it pretty hard to entice the public to pick up the phone again....
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