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Brown may tax TV quiz channels

Bell tolls for ring-in quizzes

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Gordon Brown may put extra tax or regulations on TV quiz channels - bringing them into line with other forms of gambling.

This follows "concerns" from the Gambling Commission. Today sees the launch of ITV Play - replacing Men and Motors on Freeview. The channel, like various others on Freeview, gives viewers the chance to win prizes if they ring a premium rate phone line and answer an absurdly easy question.

ITV already runs Quizmania which airs on ITV2 after 1am when normal programming ends. This will be replaced with ITV Play branded programmes. The broadcaster is also working on mobile versions of ITV Play. More from the BBC here.

Icstis, which regulates premium rate services, is on a high at the moment - in March it announced a 66 per cent fall in complaints - perhaps connected to fining the Crazy Frog £40,000 back in December.

A spokesman for Icstis told us they are pretty happy with how the industry is shaping up. He said: "These services launched last summer and we had a flurry of complaints - 269 in 2005. We issued a consultation and issued a statement in January. We've had 15 complaints since then - ten in January, five in February and none since then." ®

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