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TV Quiz Channels

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent consideration has been given to the further regulation of television quiz channels which offer cash prizes. (102317)

Responsibility for the regulation of television quiz channels rests with the independent regulators, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) and the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS).

Ofcom and ICSTIS produced detailed new rules and guidance in 2006, aimed at ensuring best practice in the industry and providing appropriate consumer protection. As a result there have been significant changes in the way Call TV quiz shows operate—with increased transparency for the viewer.

On 10 October 2006 ICSTIS announced a further review of the Quiz TV sector, covering all services within the sector, as well as current safeguards.

On 3 August the Gambling Commission consulted on the possible need for some Call TV Quiz Services to change how they are currently operated to ensure compliance with the new rules under the Gambling Act 2005 which will come into force in September 2007. The consultation, which closed on 31 October, received a significant response. The Commission will be issuing its response in the new year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 in regulating television quiz channels that offer cash prizes. (102318)

The Government are firmly committed to maintaining the long standing convention that lotteries should be held only for good causes and not for private gain, and have strengthened the definition of a lottery in the Gambling Act 2005.

The Act, which will come into force in September 2007, creates a new definition of a lottery and a complex lottery.

The Gambling Commission is the independent regulator responsible for monitoring compliance with the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976.

The Gambling Commission is currently consulting on television quizzes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which digital television quiz channels are entitled to broadcast in the United Kingdom. (102319)

All digital television channels which hold an Ofcom broadcasting licence or are appropriately authorised in an EU member state are entitled to broadcast in the UK whether or not they offer quiz shows. ITV Play, Quiz Call, iPlay and Big Game TV are dedicated quiz channels. A number of other channels offer substantial quiz TV programme breaks.