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Voting Costs Halved For Big Brother 8

As the Launch night for Big Brother 8 looms, Channel 4 has announced that it is cutting the cost of voting in the weekly evictions for the forthcoming series.

The new charge, down from 50p last year to just 25p per vote, applies to calls from BT lines; calls from other networks may vary. Fans will no longer be able to text-in their vote though, as that option has been scrapped due to logistics.

But news of this drastic reduction will doubtless have some fans cautiously wondering, 'Why the sudden generosity?'

About this seemingly last-minute decision, a C4 spokesperson told us, "The voting has been fair and transparent throughout the eight years that Big Brother has been on air, but given the recent focus on the use of premium rate phone lines on TV, we want to ensure that the audience has absolute confidence in the evictions".

"These are absolutely integral to the show’s success and cutting the cost of the phone votes will hopefully encourage the highest possible number of viewers to interact with the programme."

Aha, so because of the recent debacle about rip-off phone lines on TV shows – including their own Richard & Judy – it looks like C4 don't want to rock the boat and court yet more controversy.

Also, it has to be said that less-and-less people are voting these days compared to the earlier series of Big Brother, so perhaps they had to do something to boost interest, if not revenue?

On that note, the broadcaster says that it will make no money from all the phone calls once its admin costs have been taken into account, and re-iterates that 10p from each call will go to charity.

The more cynical viewer might see this as a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to distract their attention away from the recent Ofcom ruling, but overall it has to be good news for BB fans.

For not only will the charities benefit (something that gets forgotten about when people talk about CBB5), but it may encourage a lot more people to actually vote and influence the outcome of each eviction.

Oh, and it'll also allow fans to vote a few more times if there's a character on the show that they reeeeally wanna' get rid of!

Roll on BB8!

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