Eurovision Song Contest Voting on BBC One

Learn more about how to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Scott Mills explains how to vote using mobile short codes.

1. What are MSDCs (Mobile Short Dial Codes)?

Mobile Short Dial Codes (MSDCs) are numbers that can be called (not texted) from UK mobile phones at a guaranteed fixed price (15p for Eurovision Song Contest UK voting) regardless of their UK mobile network provider. MSDC numbers are typically between 5 and 7 digits long, shorter than a standard phone number.

Calling premium rate '09' numbers from mobiles typically costs significantly more than calling from a BT landline, and the cost can vary significantly between mobile networks. As a result of using MSDCs for voting, callers from UK mobile phone networks should pay the same fee to vote as callers from a BT landline - 15p for each Eurovision Song Contest vote.

When voting from a mobile using a MSDC number, you will hear a vote confirmation message, just like when voting from a landline using a 09 premium rate number.

2. How do I vote by SMS Short Code?

When voting is open, simply dial the short number shown on screen for your favorite act using your UK mobile phone. If you call during the voting period, you will receive a message confirming your vote. If you try to call after the polls have closed, you will receive a closed non-chargeable message. Each week, the numbers assigned to each contestant will change. You are unable to text/SMS to the Mobile Short Dial Code.

3. Why can we now vote using mobile short dial codes but not before?

Mobile Short Dial Codes are only available in the UK since April 2012, and they can be used across all of the major UK mobile network providers at a fixed rate for a call.

4. Instead of introducing Mobile Short Dial Codes, why don't UK Mobile Network Operators simply charge 15p for calls from mobiles to '09' numbers?

The pricing for calling numbers via their networks, including 09 numbers, is determined by the UK mobile network operators. Viewers should contact their UK mobile network operator for more information on their charging rates. The MSDCs for the Eurovision Song Contest have agreed to a fixed price of 15p per vote.

5. Why do you offer voting via mobile short dial codes rather than text voting?

Text voting cannot be included in the Eurovision Song Contest UK vote due to the relatively short time periods during which the vote is open and the results must be provided and verified. There is a risk of potential delays in mobile networks during peak times, which could result in text votes not being received during the voting period. If the exchange is busy, you will hear an engaged tone; however, with text/SMS, you will not know if your vote was delivered late (resulting in it not being registered). Other than busy tones at the local exchange level with heavy traffic, there are no such potential network delays with Mobile Short Dial Codes.

Furthermore, calls to Mobile Short Dial Codes outside of the voting period, or to numbers that are no longer in use, are not chargeable to callers, unlike text messages, where charges may still apply.

The benefit of using phone calls to vote rather than text messages is that the caller knows right away that their vote has been counted and that they have been charged for their vote. They will also know if they did not get through because they will hear an engaged tone, and they can simply press redial to try again. Text voting is not the same because the texter must wait for a confirmation message from their mobile network operator, which may take some time or may not arrive at all.

6. Will I be charged if I use a MSDC to vote after the polls have closed?

No Calls made outside of the voting period will not be charged.

7. Why can't I vote using Channel Islands and Isle of Man mobile short dial codes?

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are served by separate mobile network operators, which do not currently support voting via Mobile Short Dial Codes. Viewers in these areas may still be able to vote by dialing the 09 numbers for the Eurovision country of their choice from most landlines at a 15p rate or on their mobile phone incurring higher charges (as they may have done in previous voting shows).

8. Can I dial a Mobile Short Dial Code from my home phone?

No Voting via Mobile Short Dial Code is only available from mobile phones; if you call a Mobile Short Dial Code from a landline, you will not be connected to the voting service and your vote will not be counted. In a very small number of cases, the landline network operator may route the call to a local destination because it matches a "local" phone number, resulting in a "wrong number" call. If such calls are answered, they will be charged.

9. Is it possible to vote via text message to the Mobile Short Dial Codes?

No The Eurovision Song Contest UK vote will be conducted solely through telephone voting, as this allows the caller to know immediately that their vote has been counted and that they have been charged. This is not true for text votes, so text voting will be unavailable when voting from the United Kingdom.

Can I still call the 09 numbers from my cellphone?

Yes, but the call will most likely cost you much more than 15p. The 09 voting numbers, if you have one, should preferably only be called from your landline. If you call the 09 voting numbers from your UK mobile phone, you will be greeted with a non-chargeable message instructing you to dial the Mobile Short Dial Codes instead. If you stay on the line after the message, you will be able to vote for your favorite act; however, your UK mobile network operator will charge you at their standard rate for calls to the 09 number, which may be significantly higher than the 15p per call cost. advertised

11. Will I receive'spam' or unsolicited marketing text messages if I vote via Mobile Short Dial Code?

You should not receive text messages from the Eurovision Song Contest or any other organization as a result of using the MSDCs to vote. Except where required by law, the BBC does not provide or sell mobile phone numbers to third parties. Text spamming occurs when businesses send unsolicited text messages to mobile phone numbers. The BBC strongly opposes this practice and takes great care to protect numbers from unauthorized use. If you receive unwanted text messages from other companies for which you are being charged, you can contact PhonepayPlus, the premium services regulator, on freephone 0800 500 212 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding bank holidays), or via phonepayplus org uk to inform them of this

12. Why am I unable to call the MSDC number using my "Voice over IP" (VOIP) connection?

Some UK telephone network operators, including some VOIP providers, do not allow voting by traditional premium rate 09 numbers. Because the new MSDC numbers are only intended for voting through UK mobile network operators, fixed line and VoIP network operators are unlikely to support them.

13. Why isn't the UK voting on the new app?

Voting via mobile apps is not currently available in any BBC show. This type of interactivity is new to the UK market. The BBC's decision to offer this type of interactivity would be based on research into the operating systems, handsets, and online stores used by UK viewers. The BBC will closely monitor the Eurovision mobile app voting experience. Also, for the first time this year, we are offering mobile short codes as a way to vote from a UK mobile while incurring the same charge as most landlines, allowing voters to avoid different and higher call costs from mobiles. We are confident that this new interactivity method, which has already been tested in other BBC prime time live shows, will be popular with Eurovision Song Contest fans in the UK.

14. Why was I charged outside the voting booth?

We clearly state on screen and verbally when the voting period begins and ends, and callers should wait until that time before casting their vote. There is a chance that if you call outside of this time, another network other than BT will charge you for the call. If you have been charged, contact your service provider right away.

15. I tried to call X country but got Y country.

All voters are encouraged to dial carefully. Before each show, the BBC conducts extensive testing to ensure that the correct audio is playing on the correct contestant line. We can check whether the number you called corresponds to the correct contestant audio if you send us a phone bill.

16. I've tried to vote but keep getting the engaged tone.

Because phonelines are very busy throughout the UK when the voting window opens, some callers, particularly those in rural/remote areas, may hear the engaged tone. We recommend that you call back within a few minutes after the traffic on your local exchange has subsided. The BBC has no control over engaged tones, which are controlled by local telephone exchanges.

17. I called but got no answer.

If you heard a dead tone after dialing the first four numbers of the premium rate number, this means you are premium rate barred and should check with your network operator about lifting the ban if you want to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest.

18. I attempted to vote but was unable to do so.

Given the high volume of viewers and callers generated by some TV voting shows, a large number of people may pick up the phone at the same time when the onscreen announcement is made. This can sometimes result in some callers receiving an engaged tone for brief periods of time immediately following an onscreen announcement; however, any congestion tends to clear fairly quickly.

19. Can one contestant's phone number be constantly engaged while another contestant's phone number is free?

The Eurovision Song Contest, like all major events, employs a voting system in which at least the first eight digits of phone numbers and the first five digits of email addresses are the same for all contestants. depending on who you want to vote for, only the last few digits of the phone number change

Because the telephone network only uses the first eight digits of a phone number and the first five digits of the number to route calls to the voting system, calls for different contestants cannot be treated differently.

When calls reach the voting system, they are answered in order, first come, first served. There are no dedicated answering points for individual contestants/acts; each answering point is instructed to accept votes for all contestants.

20. Does the BBC profit from the phone calls?

No BBC does not make any money.


"UK Mobile Phones" refers to mobile phones sold in the UK under UK contracts by Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (previously T Mobile and Orange), Virgin, and '3'.

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