Facebook helps Channel 5 to 700k votes for 'Celebrity Big Brother'

Channel 5, the Northern & Shell-owned TV channel, has revealed a big increase in the number of votes cast for 'Celebrity Big Brother' between its first and second series, thanks partly to the addition of Facebook voting.

Celebrity Big Brother: a hit for Channel 5
Celebrity Big Brother: a hit for Channel 5

According to numbers supplied by Channel 5, during the three-week series of 'Celebrity Big Brother' in January fans voted around 700,000 times, just over 30% of which were through the 'Celebrity Big Brother' Facebook app.

The addition of Facebook voting helped increase the number of votes by around 300,000 when compared with last year’s series of 'Celebrity Big Brother', a rise of more than 70%, although the number of phone votes increased too.

Initial estimates suggested last year's 'Celebrity Big Brother' had around 500,000 votes but Channel 5 has now confirmed the figure was actually around 100,000 lower.

Channel 5 introduced the Facebook app for the traditional 'Big Brother' series in September last year. The app allows fans to vote in the series as well as read news about the show and look at photographs.

Phone votes cost 36p and Facebook votes cost either 7p for a single vote via PayPal or £1 for a bundle of votes via other payment mechanisms. It is not known what Channel 5's cut of the revenue was.

Over the course of the latest series, 'Celebrity Big Brother' achieved an average overnight audience of 1.94 million viewers on Channel 5 and Channel 5 HD (or 2.05 million viewers including Channel 5 +1).

According to figures from Channel 5 between 1 January and 21 January 'Celebrity Big Brother' helped the channel improve its overall adult commercial impacts by 6.2%. ABC1 impacts by 20.2%, and 16- to 34-year-olds by 72.8%

Nick Bampton, sales director at Channel 5, said: "Launching a voting app on Facebook not only demonstrates Channel 5’s innovative spirit, but, with these results, our effectiveness as well."

This series of 'Celebrity Big Brother' was sponsored by broadband provider Plusnet, 888.com did a licensing deal to create a 'Big Brother Bingo' and Coral Bingo was the show's live odds partner.

Bampton said he has started speaking to media agencies and advertisers about this summer's main series of 'Big Brother'.

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