Seeking to avoid the fiascos and scandals that have beset UK participation TV this year, the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) yesterday hosted an industry discussion to hammer out a US code of conduct for the format. Afflicted by poor relations between broadcasters and mobile participation service providers, cases in which mobile users have been billed for non-considered competition or vote entries have this year knocked £200 million off the UK’s £300 million call-TV industry, Edward Boddington of one such provider, UK-based HMG, told paidContent:UK earlier this month.
The London-based MEF, an umbrella for mobile content companies that has been developing policy on the issue since May, used the CTIA mobile conference in San Francisco last night to invite submissions, aiming to “take the lessons learned in the UK and apply them to the US market”. It’s also coming up with a UK framework after a similar meeting in May. Boddington, an MEF board member for America, has estimated the US participation TV to be worth $30 million (£14.66 million) to $50 million (£24.44 million) annually so there is still plenty of growth potential – but the market will be stillborn unless it notes the failures in Britain.