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Premium-rate scams prompt licensing proposal

ICSTIS moves to clean up industry

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TV and radio programmes that can be editorially altered by premium-rate calls or texts will need to be licensed under proposals from UK premium-rate regulator ICSTIS.

The regulator is seeking feedback on its consultation document that comes in the wake of various scandals involving premium-rate-driven broadcasting.

ICSTIS' proposal also mandates third party oversight if a programme is offering a prize of more than £5,000.

To avoid impacting premium-rate lines which are just advertised in programmes, ICSTIS intends the new licence to only be applicable where the programme content can be changed by calls or texts - it reckons this should involve around 40 companies, at a cost of less than £2,000 each.

Questions raised in the consultation document include the breadth of companies that should be licensed, and whether radio should be included, as well as specifics such as the need to regulate jukebox music channels.

The deadline for feedback is 12 June. ®

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