American Idol generates 178 million texts while controversy rises over AT&T's actions

American Idol generates 178 million texts while controversy rises over AT&T's actions
As we've already reported, despite a drop of 3 million viewers in the television ratings, American Idol fans generated more than 178 million text messages during the 8th season of the show. That total was a record for Idol and was more than double the 78 million messages that were sent last year. Messages included voting for contestants, answering trivia questions and contestant chats. AT&T said that the number of subscribers playing a weekly Idol trivia contest doubled over last year's total. This year, there is a question about the controversial actions of some AT&T employees working in the home state of newly crowned champion Kris Allen.

AT&T representatives attended Mr. Allen's home town viewing parties and reports say that the reps offered free texting services to Mr. Allen's fans and gave out instructions on how to send multiple text messages at the same time. The rules of the show prohibit "power voting" using "technical enhancements". The carrier has said that the instructions on how to send blocks of text messages at one time came not from the company as a corporate service, but was the work of a "few local AT&T employees" in Arkansas. The company continued to say that these employees were caught up in the enthusiasm of trying to get a home town contestant to be named champion and as a result, they brought a small number of demo phones to parties which were offered to people to send texts selecting Kris Allen over Adam Lambert in the finals. The company said that they will make sure that their employees understand that such behavior is not to be repeated on American Idol or any other voting-type show. AT&T said that it "celebrates the competition, not individual contestants."

For it's part, Fox says it has a third party monitoring process that ensures the integrity of the voting. As such, the network claims that the actions of the rogue AT&T employees had no bearing on the outcome of the show and that the final results stand.

source: NY Times

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10 Comments

1. Galen20K

Posts: 575; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

ATT has Always been Fishy one way or Another.....

2. heavybreathing

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 26, 2009

ATT + American Idol = Epic Fail

3. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

verizon voters should be allowed to vote for ai! that's discrimination!

4. *HOVA*

Posts: 564; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

There's always exclusive rights. I've seen the same where only VZW cust's can vote. But really, who the hell cares?

5. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

where have you seen where only vzw customers can vote? especially with such a successful show as ai?

6. TheCellDepotVZW

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

What show did you watch where VZW customers can vote without spending $.99 per message... I only know of At&t doing that sort of one sided stuff...

7. TheCellDepotVZW

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

In my opinion those employees would terminated for the actions. Cheating is cheating, even if it does not affect the total outcome. That and they cheated At&t out of how ever many messages they actually send. If it was My VZW employees who did that they would be fired on the spot!!!

8. artz1986

Posts: 453; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

This controversy is lame... .....

9. yourmom07

Posts: 66; Member since: Apr 07, 2009

damn. i was going for ruben studdard

10. metalpoet unregistered

i hate how at&t is plastered everywhere like there really that good of service anyways. some of my friends have the iphone and act like there the top s*&$ but when i ask them if they cam even place a call they dont have signal so those at&t ppl who think there all that, they need to shut themselves up i admit verizon has awesome signal but crappy phones soi wont say that verzion is greatest but i will state facts. att has awesome phone and verizon has greatc signal

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