Industry takes AIME in formulating best practice guidelines for participation TV

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 07-06-2012

As part of an initiative to build confidence in Participation TV services, UK broadcasters and service partners have come together within AIME’s Interactive Broadcast Forum (IBF) to agree a set of best practice guidelines.

The guidelines will aim to enable broadcasters can work under a consistent approach to the use of social media for Premium Rate Service promotion, a vital aspect of current TV services as an increasing number of TV viewers work simultaneously online while watching television, using social networking services such as Twitter and Facebook.

AIME, the trade organisation representing the commercial interests of member companies in the interactive media and entertainment industry, has created an Interactive Broadcast Forum and Working Group includes the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Fremantle Media, BT Agilemedia, 3, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere, Telefonica O2, IMImobile, Harvest Media, MIG, OpenMarket, Telecom Express and Strategic Brief.

By creating such guidelines, AIME says that it will not only be possible to create opportunities for people to become even more socially engaged with TV programming, it also has enormous significance for broadcasters, not only as a platform for direct engagement but also because they can enable viewers to actively engage with each other and influence each other’s interactivity behaviour, particularly around live event programming.

Moreover, AIME expects the social medium will increasingly be used to promote premium rate services associated with a Participation TV show, for example voting or competition services.

AIME’s Best Practice Guide sets out responsibilities for promoters. In particular it highlights the regulatory responsibilities for direct promotions in social media by parties ‘connected’ to the show / event and steps to be taken to ensure regulatory compliance clarifies where a promoter has no control over postings made by individuals ‘unconnected’ with the show in third party platform environments. It also recommends steps to take where a regulatory authority brings to promoters’ attention informal/‘unconnected’ and non-compliant promotions.

Explained AIME Chairman, Edward Boddington: “Technology and engagement platforms continue to evolve and AIME member broadcasters and service partners work proactively to ensure a framework exists which upholds the principles of consumer protection and ensures regulatory compliance.”