Opera Telecom Targeted by Panorama Program

Opera Telecom is set to feature in tonight’s BBC Panorama program looking in to the use of premium rate phone line schemes being used by broadcasters for phone in competitions. A number of high profile cases recently indicate that callers are being short changed.

It is understood that the allegations surrounding Opera Telecom, who run phone in lines for GMTV, relate to the possibility that winners of competitions are selected before the lines are closed.

Some observers are saying that this is costing viewers tens of thousands of pounds a day in wasted phone calls. Opera Telecom has been running the phone in service for GMTV since 2004. Opera Telecom denies any wrong doing.

Meanwhile GMTV has released a statement about today’s on-air and online competition.

“Some of you may read reports in today’s papers about an investigation into premium rate phone services involving TV companies.

The investigation claims to have revealed some irregularities in the past in the way GMTV’s telecoms provider Opera Telecom selected finalists for our competitions.

GMTV knew nothing of this and is shocked to hear of these allegations.

Just over a month ago GMTV instructed the city accountancy firm Deloitte to carry out a full independent review of GMTV and Opera’s current interactive systems and processes.

This review has now been completed and we are confident on the basis of Deloitte’s findings and our own research that our competitions are being operated fully in accordance with the codes – and that no finalists are being selected before lines have closed.

We are investigating further but do anticipate bringing our competitions back as soon as possible.”

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