Posted in Opinion, TV, Video

TQS’s Call-TV: Finally a show for compulsive gamblers

On Monday, TQS came out with its newest far-fetched idea: Call-TV, a daily 90-minute show in which people call in to win prizes. The reviews were unanimously unpleasant: Ridiculous. Tedious and repetitive. So bad it’s good. Frustrating. Worse than the Monsieur Showbiz reruns it replaced.

Oh, and it forgets how many Os are in Toronto.

In the current pathetic state of the mouton noir, it’s nice to see them go back to their roots as a low-budget network that’s willing to try anything and look pathetic doing it. I might even think of applauding it if it had been an original TQS idea instead of an Austrian creation (the show is even filmed in Vienna).

But there’s another thing that bugs me about it: you have to pay to take part. An entry fee of $1 per call or text to have a chance to win a prize (the show doesn’t take the first caller, but waits for a bunch of people to call in and then picks one at random).

Marketing contests and prize draws operating in Quebec and elsewhere are usually very careful about giving a “no purchase necessary” option in order to stay legal. Usually this involves sending a postcard or self-addressed stamped envelope, which nobody does because that costs money too. But for Call-TV, there is no option that forgoes payment. And since there is an element of pure chance involved, this should technically qualify as a lottery, no?

In the UK, the Call TV format was investigated to see if it qualified as gambling. The report didn’t make a conclusion, arguing that it was up to the courts to decide if this qualifies. (Even if it had reached that conclusion officially, the difference in laws means you couldn’t make the same conclusion in Quebec.)

Whether or not it successfully exploits a loophole in Quebec’s gambling law, or is even sanctioned by the government, it just rubs me the wrong way. It’s like a slot machine you can play at home. Is that really what you want in television?

At least, at $1 a call, compulsive gamblers can’t lose their life savings in 90 minutes.

UPDATE (June 9): La Presse’s Hugo Dumas did some calling to various government regulatory bodies (CRTC, Loto-Québec, Régie des alcools, courses et jeux, CBSC, Department of National Defence) and got responses ranging from “our lawyers are looking into it” to “technically it’s not our department”.

23 thoughts on “TQS’s Call-TV: Finally a show for compulsive gamblers

  1. Horonymous

    Truly sad.

    Glad the CRTC let them get away with dumping news to provide us quality programming/

    Reply
  2. ladyjaye

    The way it works, I’m not sure whether the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux (ie. the governmental entity that manages Loto-Québec and all applicable lottery and contest laws) or the CRTC would be a better place to contact about this (in regards to that “call or text for a buck and you sucka won’t win anyways” experience many people have reported)…

    I have a feeling the backlash against this show will be so strong that anything would be better than this, even Mr Showbizz. That’s saying a lot.

    Reply
  3. Jonathan G

    I agree that the show should get canned, some minor are bound to call and it is gambling.
    Yet I actually love the show in small doses. I quite enjoy watching one of the two ladies trying to fill 90 minutes of emptiness. The sheer nonsense of it makes me laugh, it is as senseless as any other infopub but without the reruns.
    A cheap show to produce and easily localized. From a purely marketing point of view, the concept is excellent.
    I just wish we got some foreign language version instead.

    Reply
  4. Richard

    I saw the Mexican version of this recently when I was there. Yes, so bad I had to keep watching, especially when the cute hostess (because it’s always a cute hostess) tries to fill the dead air. Sometimes she would get so exasperated and end up making “Help me!” faces to the camera crew and/or producer or whoever was there with her.

    Speaking of TQS, I saw M. Showbiz last night; what a train wreck in itself as well!!!

    Reply
  5. Craig

    This sounds not all that far removed from a monstrosity I saw on Global last year, which involved text-and-pay for the opportunity to maybe be chosen to get on air and guess a word that may or may not be hidden in a list of words.

    I hated it then too. Though damned if I can remember what it was called. Brain Busters or something in that general vicinity.

    Reply
  6. Martin

    To me this is purely fraud… No order of game “monitoring” such as Samson/Deloite/Touch are supervising the reality of the hasard!… There is no phone system able to pick up line totally random as they come in….its all base on an algorythm inside the phone system software It would be like if Loto Quebec would say go buy tickets… and we will choose a ticket while they are been bought..Yet everybody has his tickets and looks at the reel random combinaison..

    This just looks like the online casino hosted on Kanawake.. the notion of Hasard seems to be long to happen when the price goes up on Call TV and it does look suspicious… But how can a system be waiting when prices are higher?? if not manipulated by a human been ….

    Reply
  7. Martin

    Plus the show had been on for quite some time does anybody recall a friend of a friend of a friend wining??

    Reply
  8. MMT

    I am wondering if you will ever give a chance to Ottawa people to play. What does it take to connected from Ottawa? I have tried with good answers in vain.

    Please connect people from Ottawa.

    Reply
  9. stephane M

    This is bullshit show,i got the answer for about 10minutes,and it says when i called better luck next time c de la criss de marde TQS SUCKS Fuck YOU!

    Reply
  10. dan

    your right stephane M….dont lose your money in that crap they charge you a dollard every time they hang up on you.
    would hang up on anybody too for one buck!! 1 $ youhou! I lost 5 bucks for a good lesson…dont lose your money in that shit!

    and TQS SUCKS to alow this crap.
    and all those company fido,rogers and so on that are all involved! crtc should do a his job for once and band these kind of fuckers on the air!!
    Reply

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  11. Sean

    What a shit tv game!!! They say they have like 20 luck lines opened up and when you call and fall on that line you get directly sent to the studio…well i got news for everyone, after over 40 minutes on the same game, NO ONE i mean NO ONE got a luck line after 40 minutes?????? I mean dam….It is impossible and shows that they are screwing everyone and stealing the callers money.

    my 2 cents on things……. and the CRTC should ban this right away since it is not supervised by Loto-quebec authorities.

    Reply
  12. jma

    Aug 9 mot croise de a animaux

    l’un d’eux est papillion le dictionaire dit papillon ??????

    erreur mais ca passe

    stupid

    Reply
  13. tormentor90

    Anybody bother to reads the rules???!!!!! from their site??????
    no home addresses or phone numbers are disclosed. They send the money via WESTERN-UNION. Hello people , wake up, nothing tracable there, thats IF you get the money
    This should not be allowed

    Reply
  14. ANDRE R CARRIERE

    BELL CANADA MA ENVOYER UNE FACTURE EXORBITANTE CONCERNANT DES APPELLES TELEPHONIQUE QUE D,APRES EUX J ‘AURAIS FAIT A CALL TV A TQS MA FACTURE INDIQUE 4A5 APPELS LA MINUTE DE JUIN 2009 A JUILLET 24 2009 CELA EST IMPOSSIBLE CELA FAIT UNE SOMME DE PLUS DE700.DOLLARS CELA EST TRES IMPOSSIBLE CAR J’ETAIS A L’OUVRAGE LA PLUPART DES DATES ET HEURES QUE JE SUIS SUPPOSER AVOIR APPELER JE PEUT LE PROUVER SI IL LE FAUT

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Fagstein » The end of Call-TV

  16. claudette c

    QUEL JEUX DE FOU QUE PESSER VOUS DU JEUX DE LUNDI CHERCHER UN ANIMAL QUI CONTIEN UN E ET CA DURER 1HEUR ET DEMI ET MONTER A 5000.00 DOLARDET PRESONNE NA GAGNIERET PAS TOUTE LES DEUX ENVELOPE LES ANIMAL QUON NE CAUNAIS PAS VREMENT CAIS DE LA VRAIS MERD ET JE SUIS PAS MAL CHOQUER DE VOIR QUON CE FAIS FOURER COMME CA ET TQS QUI FOURNIE CE JEUX JE NEN REVIEN PAS A SUIVE

    Reply
  17. Sylvie Cotnoir

    J’ai une réponse pour le nom d’animal et ça doit faire 25$ que je gaspille…Les lignes devraient être oupertes en ce moment! Mais bon! vous cesseriez de faire de l’argent…C’est bien triste!

    Bonne fin de soirée!

    Sylvie

    Reply
  18. joe

    I think it should be banned for ever. Last night i tried for 45 minutes and had the right answer for 5 quebec cities names, but nother me or other people were able to get the magic line until 2 minutes from the end of the show. IT IS DEFINITLY A RIP OFF

    Reply
  19. Mike A.

    This is a big rip off and scam it is sad that they are getting a way with it and scaming people. You call them the phone is put down and you get charge $2.00 and you never spoke to anyone. This is a scam and it should be reported to the police and the government should do something about it.

    Reply
    1. stephane

      cest vraiment de la fraude,fait une couple de fois que j essaye et jamais pogner la ligne,si y a na un qui lis sa et qui est capable de me dire qu il a déja gagner,manifeste toi

      Reply
  20. JASON MENDONCA

    take IT OFF THE AIR THE ONLY REASON THE BONUS IS HIGH IS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE SPENDING THERE MONEY EVERY TWO MINUTES NEVER ANY WINNERS THE WOMEN ON T.V IS SCREAMING CALL, CALL, HOW IS IT THAT THERE ARE NO WINNERS THE COUNT DOWN IS PROLONGED JUST TO GET MORE CALLERS.AND WHEN A CALL COMES THROUGH ITS PROB
    ABLY SOMEONE INSIDE THE BUILDING

    Reply
  21. Uncommon

    I just seen another show on TQS tonight, apparently the hostess was so upset that nobody was callin it for like 20 minutes she started to complain to the director on air and asked people to call in just to tell him how much he sucked. LOL, nobody knew what the answer was, I did know, and told my mother to call (I don’t speak french) but she said she was disconnected because she wasn’t chosen. Yep, I feel sorry for that poor woman, or any woman on this show, I’m surprised the CRTC hasn’t acted on it yet…

    Reply

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