ITV faces $7.9 mil Ofcom fine

Viewers wasted $15 mil in phone-in quizzes

LONDON -- ITV could face a fine of as much as 4 million pounds ($7.9 million) for defrauding viewers in premium-priced phone quizzes, potentially the biggest ever to be imposed on a British broadcaster, according to speculation here.

ITV executives are nervously awaiting media regulator Ofcom's judgment, after an independent investigation found viewers wasted 7.8 million pounds ($15.4 million) calling in to competitions they could not hope to win. A decision is expected next month. Neither ITV nor Ofcom were prepared to comment.