ITV bins late night quiz show phone-ins

ITV revealed yesterday they are binning their late night quiz shows following ever-deteriorating revenues following the scandals afflicting TV phone-in shows earlier in the year.

The ITV phone-in shows, Make Your Play and The Mint, which broadcast on ITV1 and ITV2 after midnight, have suffered immensely from the negative publicity around TV phone-ins, resulting in a loss of consumer confidence.

“ITV Play’s Call TV programming will be phased out by the end of this year as negative publicity following compliance problems across the sector has seen call volumes drop to uneconomic levels,” said the broadcaster in a statement.

ITV believed they saw such TV phone-in shows as a way of offsetting falling advertising revenues. However, they ditched their dedicated phone-in channel ITV Play in May following a “significant reduction” in revenues after they expected it to make £20 million in its first year.

TV phone-in shows have received criticism from all angles, and all the major broadcasters have been hit with some kind of scandal or another.

The nature of the questions on these shows have been heavily criticised by broadcasting watchdog OFCOM. On one ITV Play quiz, the question was to name 12 things that might be found in a woman’s handbag. Ridiculously, two of the correct answers included a “balaclava” and “Rawlplugs”.

“The viewers have voted with their dialling fingers and they are not dialling in,” said Michael Grade, ITV chairman.

Now there’s a surprise.