BSkyB (LON:BSY) CEO James Murdoch has distanced the UK satellite and broadband operator from the call-to-play TV game show scandals that have engulfed many of the country’s main TV networks. Murdoch told the Royal Television Society’s journal (via Variety): “We knew we could make a lot of money out of it, but these kinds of programs are very easy to abuse. They just seem unfair … “Premium rate quiz shows undermine that relationship because basically it is just taking advantage, and it’s pretty sleazy … To us premium rate quiz stuff always felt grubby.”
An inquiry that began when a Channel 4 show was found to have solicited premium-rate viewer competition entries despite some viewers not having had a chance of winning snowballed when it emerged other networks, including the BBC, were guilty of the same offence. Competitions are currently suspended across BBC TV, radio and online output. Call-in game channels had been seen as a revenue generator to offset falling advertising income, but Murdoch is putting some space between BSkyB and what has become a tainted revenue stream.