CAF to help ITV dish out £7.8m to charity

The Charities Aid Foundation will help ITV distribute to charity nearly £7.8m that the broadcaster made last year from phone-in competitions that were already closed.

Eight million viewers were eligible for refunded phone charges after it was revealed that the company had made £7.8m last year from phone-in competitions that were already closed. However, only £10,000 was reclaimed, leaving £7.79m to donate to charity.

CAF is in discussion with ITV to select beneficiaries, which will include national and regional charities.

ITV suspended all premium-rate phone-ins, interactive competitions and votes last March while independent auditors conducted a review of its programmes. It found that the broadcaster had rigged telephone votes or overcharged viewers calling in for programmes including Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, X Factor and Soapstar Superstar.

The call-TV scandal last year led to a loss of £58m in revenues for ITV, the company announced yesterday. Overall profits for 2007 were down by 35 per cent on 2006.

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