The just concluded third season of the reality TV show, Big Brother Naija “Double Wahala”, was no doubt a money-spinner for the organisers and sponsors.
The host of the show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, revealed that over 170 million votes were cast in the course of the season, 30 million of it coming in the final week.
If all the votes had been cast by sms from Nigeria, it would have meant that the organisers raked in N5.1 billion from voting alone, as each sms cost N30.
But the managing director, Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, maintained that 90 per cent of the total figure came from online voting.
He said, “There has been a lot of focus on the figure 170 million, but to set the record straight; 170million votes came from 49 African countries, and more than 90 per cent came from online voting.
”Fewer than two per cent of the entire votes came from SMS voting. Nigeria is the only country that was enabled to vote via SMS.
“The actual revenue generated from SMS voting could not be further from the much-touted purported figure. Over and above, the administration and platform set up costs, the majority of the profit went directly to the GSM and data service providers.”
Mr Ugbe disclosed this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of Digital Dialogue conference in Dubai this past week.
He also explained why Big Brother Naija is domiciled in South Africa citing logistics and infrastructure as a major reason.
“Big Brother demands a lot of complexities and outfitting a house. For the Big Brother shows, we set up one facility for Nigeria, Angola and other editions. It makes sense from a production perspective. It is impractical to replicate sets across our operations in 49 African countries. We choose the best location for each specific production.”
A 23-year-old pilot, Miracle Igbokwe, won the show.
He won an SUV Car, N4.7 million, an all expense trip for two and a N3.3 million entertainment set all of which sums up to the N45 million grand prize.