'PlayTV' misleading and unfair - watchdog


TV3’S LATE-NIGHT game show PlayTVengaged in practices that were “misleading and unfair”, the broadcasting watchdog has found. The programme has been the subject of complaints from viewers since it was first broadcast last summer.

In its first ruling the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s (BAI) upheld 10 complaints against PlayTVto add to the 16 upheld by its predecessor, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC).

The chairman of the BAI’s compliance committee, Prof Chris Morash, said the PlayTVprogramme was a matter of “ongoing concern”.

The BAI has the ultimate sanction, under the Broadcasting Act, 2009, to force a programme off air for persistent breaches of its contract. However, BAI spokesman Brian Furey said there was, as yet, no mechanism to fine broadcasters for such breaches, although the Act provided for fines of up to €250,000.

He said that the BAI had written to TV3 saying it must air three broadcasts informing viewers of its decision. It has also asked the broadcaster to make a number of amendments.

In one game, viewers were asked to identify Brad Pitt’s eyes from 12 photographs to win a prize of €2,300. After 11 wrong answers, a caller assumed that the 12th set of eyes would be Pitt’s, but that was also the wrong answer. It turned out that several sets of eyes were the actor’s.

The committee found there was a “lack of transparency about the rules of engagement, the presentation was misleading and the quiz was conducted unfairly”.

It also criticised the show for suggesting that all viewers had to do was to ring a number to solve the puzzle, describing it as “inaccurate”. Callers are charged €1.50 each with no guarantee that they will get through.

The BAI also upheld three complaints against a Newstalk Wide Angleprogramme. Listeners, including anti-EU campaigner Anthony Coughlan, complained there were eight pro-Lisbon guests and only one anti-Lisbon.