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The BBC Takes Ticketmaster To Task On Secondary Market

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Watchdog, a BBC consumer affairs program, has taken Ticketmaster's UK operations to task, claiming that the company is profiting from scalping taking place on Ticketmaster's secondary market site.

According to Watchdog, researchers for the show attempted to acquire tickets to an upcoming James Blunt concert from Ticketmaster's retail site when tickets went on sale, however, they were only able to obtain them from the company's secondary market website, at prices that amounted to 5 times the face value of the ticket.

Watchdog noted that not only does Ticketmaster make money on fees from the initial sale of the ticket, they make a percentage of around 15% from the re-sale of the ticket on

Watchdog discovered numerous instances of tickets being sold for much higher than face value, including Sting tix, which were priced to move at £1,208 ($1,913) and passes to a concert by opera singer Andrea Bocelli, which could set you back a cool £1760 ($2787).

Watchdog also reported that hundreds of tickets to the charity concert Help for Heroes, featuring Tom Jone, Robbie Williams and Pixie Lott were sold on Getmein at a significant markup. Help for Heroes was produced by Live Nation and the terms and conditions printed on the tickets expressly forbid purchasers from reselling them at a markup. Ticketmaster is now a division of Live Nation, since the two entertainment giants merged in January, 2010.

Ticketmaster responded to the Watchdog report, taking pains to note that they never diverts tickets allocated to it for sale at face value to and all such tickets are priced and sold through Ticketmaster, as stipulated by the event organiser. The vast majority of tickets are sold at face value to fans who attend the event. Ticketmaster is working with its clients on a number of initiatives to further manage the activities of the secondary market. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers