TV phone quiz probeInvestigation into the cost of calling shows

11 October 2006

A close-up of a telephone cord a man is using to make a call.

An investigation has been launched into the money-making phone lines used by TV quiz shows.

It follows concerns from industry watchdogs that callers may be paying over the odds and don't understand the pricing of these premium-rate hotlines.

In recent months there's been a rise in the number of complaints about TV quiz show phone lines.

There are worries that many participants are unaware that even if their call doesn't get through to TV studios but is answered they're still charged around 75p.

TV prize competitions

The review is being carried out by Icstis, the body that regulates premium rate phone numbers.

The Gambling Commission has already announced that it's looking into TV prize competitions and free draws.

ITV Play, which delivered more than £9 million in profits since its April launch, is the best known of the interactive quiz channels because it's shown on ITV1 after midnight. Others include Big Game TV and Avago.

Icstis recently ruled that Channel 4 misled viewers by allowing evicted Big Brother contestants another chance to win the show after viewers voted on premium rate phone lines to evict them permanently.