back to article UK threatens TV premium rate ban

The Government will ban television premium rate phone-ins if the industry cannot better regulate itself, broadcasting minister Shaun Woodward has warned. Woodward said the Government takes the spate of recent mistakes and breaches of regulators' codes "very seriously", and that it would ban the use of the numbers for TV quizzes …

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Blatant ripoffs

and insulting peoples intelligence to boot.

Call now for a chance to win $$$! Answer the following question correctly:

Are you a moron?

a) Yes

b) Hell, yes

c) D'oh

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Anonymous Coward

When free isn't free

Most of these competitions are required by law to offer free entry, and that's the bit that could most easily be tightened up to ensure that these "competitions" remain genuine competitions and not bogus money making wheezes.

In most cases, these competitions deliberately make the "free" entry path an expensive one (eg by requiring the free entry to be posted, therefore costing at least as much as a postage stamp) and/or place limits on the free entry path ("maximum one free entry per week") which they don't place on revenue-earning entry methods such as text or dial up.

So, the simple option -- insist that every competition has a web address where the free entries can be posted, and insist that the revenue-earning entries have exactly the same restrictions (maximum entries per person, etc) as the free entries.

With a *proper* free entry path, and most of the competitors using it instead of a revenue-earning method of entry, the bogus moneymaking "competitions" would rapidly be forced out of business leaving only the *genuine* competitions where the competition itself is the primary object and any moneymaking is purely incidental.

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Well at least some good news !

"ITV has cancelled its ITV Play station"

Good riddance to the pile of crap that replaced Men and Motors on Freeview. All right, you can stop heckling that M&M is a pile of poo as well - but it did carry some good old classics.

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Anonymous Coward

Broadcasters turned into crooks

We've ended up with such massive deregulation of television it's turned perfectly honest broadcasters in to crooks because no one can make money in television. You have approximately the same advertising spend as it ever was spread between dozens of broadcasters so they have to find some means of making money. I don't really blame the broadcasters for being pushed into a corner with SMS, competition and other phone-in scams because they've got no where else to go. Ripping off viewers will only really abate when the TV market is actually self-sustaining. We never needed 200 channels of crap which are now all fighting for crumbs.

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Anonymous Coward

What if I dial 141 first?

How is the provider of the call going to be able to tell me I've hit the £10 point, if they don't know the number I'm calling from?

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Just list the odds

In the USA, games of chance must SHOW the odds of winning each prize.

For example: 1,000,000 to 1, or 20,000,000 to 1

If the UK were to have this law, and shows had to list the odds, then there'd be 1/10th the number of players, and the rest would at least know they were wasting their money.

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