The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has recently signed a contract with T-Com, Deutsche Telekom's fixed-line division and its affiliate Digame.de, in order to insure the Eurovision Song Contest the telecommunication services it will need in the future.
Under this signed contract, Digame.de will construct and operate the contest's mass-response platform, which will enable viewers from over 30 countries to vote for their favourite songs, through mobile and fix-line telephones. Digame.de will be in charge of collecting and processing the votes from the different countries, thus insuring a far more reliable voting procedure during the Eurovision Song Contest. The 2004 contest in Istanbul will be the first one under this cooperation, which will last until 2007.
Bjørn Erichsen, Director of the Television Department at the EBU, is convinced this agreement will assist in enhancing the successful and traditional format of the song contest.
'This deal will however increase the transparency and fairness for all participants and the European audience. The EBU is looking forward to a good working relationship with Deutsche Telekom AG', says Erichsen.
This agreement seems to be the EBU's answer to failures in the televoting procedures in recent Eurovision Song Contests, which the most recent one occur in the last contest, when the EBU approved the Irish vote weeks after the contest ended with Turkey's victory.