Dutch revising rules for call-in shows

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AMSTERDAM -- The Dutch government said Friday that it is drawing up new measures to combat wrongdoing in the call-in TV arena and will reveal the laws next week.

Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin has put together a set of demands that limit the number of call-in programs, the length of the broadcasts and the prize money broadcasters may award.

The minister also plans to install aftercare for youngsters addicted to such programming.

Hirsch Ballin wants to install a government authority that has the mandate to fine the producers of call-in TV shows up to a maximum of €670,000 for any wrongdoing.

Dutch commercial broadcasters RTL4, SBS, Net5 and Tien broadcast 15 hours daily of the call-in game shows.

The main producers are Endemol and 2waytraffic, and such programming draws an estimated 3 million participants annually.

On Jan. 1, 2006, the Dutch government introduced a code of practice, and the department of justice is investigating two cases of fraud.
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