Oslo 2010: Televoting during entire shows
During the Semi-Finals and Final of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, you will hear that famous sentence "Europe, start voting now!" a bit earlier, as you will be able to cast your votes by telephone and/or SMS during the entire show, instead of for just 15 minutes. From the start of the first song until 15 minutes after the end of the last song performed, votes can be cast. The Reference Group of the contest decided that.
"It is more logic to pick up the telephone and cast your vote while hearing and seeing a song, rather than at the end the performances. Experiences from several national selections also show that this extended voting window is beind used with success," Svante Stockselius, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU, said to Eurovision.tv.
The total impact of the televoting will be higher due to extended possibilities to cast votes, and reduces the possibility of telecom providers' systems reaching their capacity limits. Research by the EBU's televoting partner Digame clearly shows that the first songs, that have a longer voting exposure, will not unfairly benefit from this. The same research in fact shows that the tendency is that people vote while their favourite song is being performed, no matter where it is performed in the running order. The experience from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, where the extended voting window was introduced three years ago, also supports this fact, as songs with a late starting number in fact won the contest.
The voting procedure is one of the most strictly monitored elements of the Eurovision Song Contest, to assure a fair result. Since 2004, the EBU works with the German-based company Digame to coordinate the voting procedure. A significant part of the televoting revenues is being distributed back to the participating public broadcasters.