Legion wins Idol gig despite Big Brother blunder

Legion Interactive, the interactive communications specialist responsible for the Big Brother eviction blunder, has won the contract to manage the voting count for Australian Idol for the second year running.Legion has described the reappointment to the Channel Ten series as "acknowledgement" of the company's capabilities, despite the "human error" that the wrong housemate evicted from another of Ten's reality television shows, Big Brother.

Legion Interactive, the interactive communications specialist responsible for the Big Brother eviction blunder, has won the contract to manage the voting count for Australian Idol for the second year running.

Legion has described the reappointment to the Channel Ten series as "acknowledgement" of the company's capabilities, despite the "human error" that the wrong housemate evicted from another of Ten's reality television shows, Big Brother.

The 2003 series of Australian Idol saw contestant Guy Sebastian rise to international fame and reportedly attracted more than 3.3 million viewers to the final showdown.

"The interactive voting element is what connects Australian Idol with the audience as they use it to decide who will become the next Australian Idol," said Jon Penn, licensing director at FremantleMedia (the International production company that owns the shows format).

"For something as critical as voting is to the show, we need to partner with who we think are the best...and that's Legion," he said.

In a statement released yesterday Legion said that it expects "immense volumes of information" to be produced through the interactive voting element of the show, as network executives expect Australian Idol 2 to be even bigger than last year.

"Legion is excited to be on board again for Australian Idol and will be responsible for managing the voting process, incorporating a short code SMS number and 190 mass calling numbers on behalf of Network Ten and Grundy," said Legion chief executive officer David Burden.

"Our recent acquisition of additional phone lines will certainly be utilised to their full capacity as the voting process heats up," he said.

Burden said the company has installed a new mass calling interactive voice recognition platform to "cope with the demand".

"As Australian Idol approaches, Legion is preparing for an interactive television event that could potentially generate the largest viewer response rates in Australian television history," stated the release.

The first show in the series premieres tonight at 7.30pm AEST on Channel Ten.

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