Ofcom hits BBC with 400,000 fine

Ofcom has fined the BBC 400,000 for breaches of the Broadcasting Code in regard to conducting competitions fairly.

Ofcom has fined the BBC £400,000 for breaches of the Broadcasting Code in regard to conducting competitions fairly.

The television regulator has found the BBC in breach of the Code for faking winners and misleading its audience across both TV and radio programmes.

The fine follows heavy penalties given to commercial broadcasters including Channel 4 and ITV recently for similar abuses of viewer trust. ITV was fined £5.6m in May and Channel 4 was fined £1.5m in December last year.

Ofcom found breaches in Comic Relief and Sport Relief on BBC 1 and The Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 1 and the Liz Kershaw Show on BBC 6 Music.

The regulator says that the breaches were “very serious” and that in some case the production team had taken “pre-mediated decisions” to broadcast competition and encourage participation in the knowledge the audience had no chance of winning.

It did note that the BBC did not receive any money from entries although viewers and listeners paid for the cost of their calls.

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