Aug 31, 2007

DTI, movie-TV board keep hands off ‘Wowowee’

Government agencies are taking a hands-off stance regarding alleged cheating on the noontime game show “Wowowee,” and ABS-CBN is standing by the program host who maintains that no irregularity transpired in its Aug. 20 episode.
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An official of the Department of Trade and Industry told Inquirer Entertainment that the DTI is mandated to protect consumers’ rights, but not to oversee the interest of contestants in TV game shows.

The source added: “Only market promotions, like
raffles or contests, are required to be registered with the DTI. Game shows are not.”

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Marissa Laguardia, meanwhile, said she had yet to receive a formal complaint against “Wowowee.” However, she said, friends had prompted her to review the show’s Aug. 20 episode.

She said the episode was “neither too explicit nor too violent” and, as such, did not violate MTRCB regulations.

During the episode in question, a new game, “Wilyonaryo,” was launched. In the game, contestants were asked questions under pain of elimination until only one of them remained. The final contestant, who had won P37,000, was made to choose from several wheels, one of which contained the P2-million pot.

The host, Willie Revillame, bartered with the contestant, offering P100,000 for the wheel she had picked. She accepted the offer.


When it was time to reveal where the jackpot money was, Revillame pulled out two different cards instead of one from the wheel, raising suspicions that he could manipulate the game’s results.

The network would later say in a statement that it was a “mechanical glitch,” the game being new.

“Wowowee,” a top-rating show on the network’s global circuit via The Filipino Channel (TFC), has been fraught with controversies, the biggest of which was last year’s stampede during its first anniversary show, where 71 were killed.
Marinel Cruz

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