Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Mark Raven

  As a regular quiz player who now only enters by the web for free, I want some stricter rules on the selection process, as I know it is the producer who selects who goes live on air, and it is not a random process.

  You get many regular players who get on more than others, and I know for a fact they pay to enter as well as entering for free.

  I think stricter rules and an independent adjudicator should monitor just how random the process is, and free entry players should have equal chance of winning.

  Certain channels such as Quizcall, Pop The Q and Cashcall have such user unfriendly free entry systems that don't even tell you if you might get called back. Indeed Quizcall may call you back many hours after you have entered a quiz, by which point the show is off air or the game has changed. Other channels give you no indication of whether you may be called back or not. ITV Play should be commended for their free entry system which is operated by Eckoh, and it sthe best example of how entering via the web should operate. You get a message telling you if you are successful or not, which takes away some of the doubt about whether you will be successful.

  Certain channels start games which are very rarely if ever won. They are usually counting games, like count the number of reds.

  Here is an example of one currently on air.

    "Freda ordered 60 white roses. Alexander ordered sixty red roses, when the roses were delivered, there were only 100 roses, 77 of them white, only twenty three of them red. Erasing the delivery company from her phone Freda offered Alexander some of her roses"

  The problem with a quiz like this is they never tell you how a puzzle was solved, and often reveal an answer which must involve using roman numerals in the text and other unusual methods of calculation that only the most skilled mathematician is going to be able to solve.

  These games are clearly revenue earners and the average caller has no chance of solving them. Some of these games actually run for weeks and weeks, being bought back so a whole new audience can call in with repeated wrong answers. When they do eventually reveal an answer, they should also be made to reveal how it was solved.

15 November 2006

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