Interactive television is usually about asking questions. Some of the questions are silly, like “which celebrity should leave the jungle?”. Some of the questions are sensible enough, like “what might a woman keep in her handbag?” though might generate silly answers, like “rawlplug” or “balaclava”. But only in the last few days have the people paid a lot of money to ask questions of their own businesses – in other words executives – been asking exactly how they make so much money from interactive television. And the answers have not been good. See this news bulletin from the BBC and also this summary of what is going wrong.
In response, ICSTIS, the UK regulator for premium-rate services, will set up a scheme to license paid interactive television. Good to see they did their job diligently – waiting for a scandal to occur and then deciding to do something about it ;) But they can hardly be blamed. Despite all the recent media attention, ICSTIS claims to have received only 10 complaints about interactive television from the public. In the meantime, people had better resort to more traditional methods to protect their own interests, like just checking their bills…..