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Television: Telephone Services

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the rules governing broadcasters’ use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting; whether he plans to review them; and if he will make a statement. (205795)

I welcome the recent investigations into the compliance of premium rate services on television programmes—and the strengthening of regulation in this area. These reviews and investigations have been thorough and wide ranging and further investigations are ongoing.

The Government look to these new measures to provide a framework for effective regulation of this sector, ensuring that the highest standards are operated for all premium rate services and that consumers are fully protected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the Ofcom inquiry into the use of premium rate services in television programming. (205796)

The inquiry is a matter for Ofcom. They are independent of Government and it would be inappropriate for me to make an assessment of Ofcom’s areas of responsibility.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will ask Ofcom to refer its case files on recent cases of television broadcaster misconduct in the use of premium rate telephone services in viewer competitions and voting to the Serious Fraud Office. (205797)

This is a matter for Ofcom, and the hon. Gentleman might like to raise the issue with them direct.