Last week Channel 4’s Dispatches defeated attempts from ticket reselling website viagogo to obtain a High Court injunction to prevent the airing of an episode, which was described as, “an important public interest investigation into how real fans are paying the price for hidden practices used by live event promoters and a major ‘fan-to-fan ticket exchange’.” The Dispatches episode in question subsequently aired on Thursday February 23rd at 9pm and revealed “that major promoters allocated hundreds or even thousands of tickets to be sold through the viagogo website at well above the face value.”
Following attempts to enjoin Channel 4 from airing the Dispatches investigation, ticket re-selling website viagogo issued a statement saying: “We sought an injunction to prevent customer information being made public. Our number one priority is to protect our customers’ data, so we will always do whatever we can to prevent that information from falling into the wrong hands.”
Channel 4 responded to that statement today and they are not buying viagogo’s claims of protecting customer information. Channel 4’s statement was as follows:
Channel 4 note the statement from viagogo but would like to make it clear that the information that viagogo sought to protect at the High Court was not personal consumer data but was in fact the identities of the promoters or any other persons or companies who had allocated primary tickets to viagogo including SJM Concerts and Live Nation.
They also asked the High Court to prevent us publicising the fact of the allocation of primary tickets to viagogo, the number of such tickets, and amount for which the primary tickets were sold for events featuring the following acts: Coldplay, Rihanna, Take That, Strictly Come Dancing Tour, Westlife, Will Young and the X Factor tour.
They also asked the court to prevent Channel 4 from publicising the splits of revenue between viagogo and the promoters on the sale of these primary tickets to the public.
The High Court rejected viagogo’s case on the ground that this information was not protectable as commercially confidential and even if it had been the judge found that the public interest in reporting these facts was entirely justifiable.
He rejected viagogo’s application for leave to appeal. They then repeated that request to the Master Of the Rolls who also rejected their request on all grounds.