A meagre 1.7 per cent of the 170 million votes that decided the just concluded Big Brother Naija came via Short Message Service (SMS), a source close to MultiChoice has disclosed. The remaining 98.3 per cent came via online voting platforms.
The source also disclosed that votes came from viewers in 49 African countries, with Nigerian viewers the only ones allowed to vote by SMS or text message.
“Voting was open to 49 countries across Africa. Voting platforms were online, website and mobisite (website via phone) and SMS. Over 98 per cent of the votes came from website and mobisite. Nigeria was the only country allowed to vote via SMS,” revealed the source.
Shortly after the show ended on Sunday night, the social media space was agog with the claim that MultiChoice made a N5.1billion profit from viewers who participated in the voting exercise for the show.
A tweet on the Twitter handle of Union Bank Plc, @UNION_BANK, lit the fire of the rumour. The bank simply multiplied 170 million by N30 (the cost of SMS for the voting) and arrived at N5.1billion. Even when informed by respondents to its tweets that there was online voting, which attracted no other cost apart from data, the bank stuck to its guns. Though it slightly reviewed its position, the bank maintained that the profits were still in billions in spite of the fact that respondents argued that telecommunication and data services companies could not have made their infrastructure available at no cost.
A little after, the tweet went viral and found its way to Facebook where it also spread.