Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Second Report


1. In February 2007, the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said: "Exploitation and excessive profiteering by touts puts tickets out of the reach of real fans - it is a corrosive force in entertainment. We are determined to protect consumers against this."[1] During the last two years concern about the adverse effects of touting activities has been increasingly apparent from media coverage and from representations made, by promoters of sporting and other events, to DCMS and to this Committee. We therefore decided to hold an inquiry to examine the causes and extent of the problems caused by touting and how they might be addressed.

The course of the inquiry

2. We announced the inquiry on 1 May 2007, inviting evidence on the following issues in particular:

—  The underlying causes of ticket touting, and its impact on performers, promoters and the public;

—  Whether or not resale of a ticket, at face value or at a higher value, should be permitted in principle; and whether the acceptability or otherwise of resale depends on the circumstances in which tickets are offered for resale;

—  The impact of the Internet upon trade in tickets;

—  Whether or not tickets' terms and conditions banning transfer and onward sale are fair or enforceable;

—  The merits of new approaches by ticket agents attempting to prevent transfer of tickets, including wider use of personal ID; and

—  Whether or not the existing offences of sale by an unauthorised person in a public place of a ticket for a designated football match, or for events at the London 2012 Games, should be extended to cover other sporting or cultural events.

3. We received over 40 written submissions, about one third of which came from organisers of sporting, music and other events, while another third came from bodies involved in the ticket market. In both cases there was some element of overlapping between submissions; for instance, we received a joint submission from "the Five Sports" (the England and Wales Cricket Board, Football Association, Lawn Tennis Association, Rugby Football League, and Rugby Football Union) as well as individual submissions from several of them, and submissions from the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers and several of its member agents.

4. At our single oral evidence session held in late June, we heard evidence from promoters of live music and major sports events, from primary ticket agents and organisations involved in the secondary market, from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is responsible for promoting performance arts, entertainment and sports, the then Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), whose responsibilities included consumer protection and extending competitive markets, and from the Office of Fair Trading. We are as always grateful to those who gave evidence.

1   The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP "Tougher protections for ticket buyers" DCMS press notice 022/07 Back

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