Nine’s Big Brother is facing accusations of rigging after the network accidentally aired a promo revealing the departure of contestant George several hours before voting was supposed to have ended.
The network claims that it had three different promos ready to allow for the eviction of each contestant who faced the public vote, and that George’s was broadcast early “in error”. The network claims that it was a coincidence that it happened to be the correct one that was broadcast.
The network made the eviction as part of its live show which aired in eastern states from 6.30pm on Sunday night.
But at 4.15pm, the Big Brother Facebook page posted a message urging viewers to continue to vote because the promotion was incorrect.
George’s eviction caused surprise among many of those commenting as several believed that housemate Estelle would be evicted.
According to presenter Sonia Kruger, George lost out by less than one per cent.
The viewer voting part of the show is a lucrative one for Nine, with hundreds of thouands of votes cast during each weekly eviction at a cost of 55c per phone or SMS vote. Viewers can also vote via Facebook by buying Facebook Credits.
Big Brother is produced for Nine by Southern Star. The terms and conditions of voting allow Nine to keep detail of the results confidential. The lengthy terms and conditions contain no information about whether the results are independently audited.
Contestants Estelle, Bradley and George faced eviction
Mumbrella has invited Nine to comment.