Q: Is participation TV channel a much less profitable business proposition now that guidelines have been tightened up. Are there new technologies that will help keep these channels within editorial guidelines?

A: Adrian Swift, director of TV, etv media group

Yes, a PTV channel would be much less profitable now, but not because of the regulation (best practice was always best practice). The real reason is that the market confidence in premium rate call services has been all but destroyed by scandals on the mainstream editorial programmes (ironically not the niche call tv channels).

However, regulation is about to play a much bigger part in the demise of participation TV. Ofcom has proposed that all forms of participation tv, including psychic services and adult chat services as well as quiz tv programmes should be re-classified as 'teleshopping'.

If Ofcom implements the proposals set out in its consultation, it will mean the end of participation tv channels as we knew them. That's because channels whose primary purpose is deemed to be "raising revenue" will be re-classified as teleshopping and will disappear from the Entertainment section of the EPG and be forced into the crowded and mostly unprofitable Teleshopping genre.

PTV channels will only be able to retain their editorial licences if they can demonstrate to the regulator's satisfaction that their primary purpose is "entertainment" rather than revenue raising.

How does the regulator decide if a quiz is revenue raising or entertainment? There is still some debate about whether quiz tv programmes/channels in their current form will be able to satisfy Ofcom's requirements.