Despite plans to keep polls open twice as long and add phone lines, speed dialers may still interfere with voting for the next “American Idol” this week, according to Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
Fox TV is doing what it can to allow more “Idol” voters to cast ballots, but concedes that bottlenecks may continue to plague its voting system during the show’s season finale on May 26, B&C reports in its edition due out on Monday and accessible at its Web site [http://www.broadcastingcable.com] Sunday morning.
The magazine says that Fox may not be “entirely unhappy about the congestion. The very issue that outrages so many fans — too many callers, not enough open lines — is part of what Fox believes has made its show such a powerful franchise.”
But, Max Robins, Editor-in-Chief of B&C says that exacerbating the congestion may be tech-savvy “phone phreaks” who use cutting edge techniques to thwart the “Idol” voting system.
For example, according to the magazine’s new report, viewers can easily purchase affordable devices that let them build a “tower of power” to dial up to 1,200 calls per hour on each of multiple lines. They stack or backlog calls and hog access.
“Even though Fox may be discounting ‘power dialers,’ rapid speed dialing is nonetheless clogging the system … which over time could ultimately threaten the show’s popularity if caller overload continues to frustrate fans,” says B&C.