Text voting returns to X Factor after scandal

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 17-10-2011

Dumped X Factor contestants NuVibe may be ruing the return of text voting to the leading UK show following the so-called text voting scandal of 2007 whereby users were charged for texts even though not all votes were being counted.
The X Factor is one of the most-watched entertainment programmes in the UK. Broadcast on ITV1, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, The X Factor was created by Simon Cowell and is owned and co-produced by Syco TV, a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, and talkbackTHAMES, a FremantleMedia company. In confirming the return of text voting, ITV, talkbackTHAMES digital and Syco, Simon Cowell’s production company, revealed that in response to the events of 2007, the X Factor will offer a longer voting window between live shows on Saturdays and Sundays, thus allowing for an earlier closing time for text votes.

The partners assure that the move comes after extensive work by the mobile technology and services provider Mobile Interactive Group and the service provider, Harvest Media Group and themselves to develop a new text voting platform. They also insist that the plan has been assessed by PhonepayPlus, the UK’s regulator of premium rate services.
Commented Ann Cook, Director of ITV Interactive: “Texting is a hugely popular way of interacting for ITV’s viewers therefore I am delighted that we are reintroducing text voting into The X Factor this weekend alongside phone and red button voting. ITV and all the partners involved in the show have worked alongside the mobile network operators over the last twelve months to ensure that we have full confidence in returning this platform which will enable more consumers to vote on the UK’s most popular entertainment show. We are enabling the audience to engage with us in a way we know they want to.”
Added Robert Marsh, Head of talkbackTHAMES digital said: “The reintroduction of text voting to The X Factor will increase the viewer’s interactivity with the show. We have worked closely with all partners and are fully confident that the returning service will prove popular with audiences as they choose the UK’s next big music sensation.”