Broadcasters are still coming to terms with what interactive television and participation programmes actually mean. For many years, producers have been saying that interactivity should not simply be an addition, but should be woven into the fabric of their formats. The result of this has been the rise of so-called reality television and talent shows based and budgeted around viewer votes and prize competitions. Their viewers can no longer be seen as a massive passive audience. They are individual consumers that are paying a premium for the apparent privilege of participating. What many television executives seem to have failed to recognise is that this transactional relationship changes the psychological and legal contract with the viewer. Ignoring this is not simply a breach of trust. It could have career-affecting legal consequences.