Voting and Terms
Eurovision Song Contest 2018
1. After all countries have performed, viewers will be invited to vote for their favourite act/s.
2. Voting is by telephone only. Voters in the UK can choose either to call from their landline using the long (11-digit) number for the country of their choice or from their mobile phones using the shortcode (7-digit) number for the country of their choice. Please note that callers from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man should call from their landlines using the long (11-digit) number to avoid higher mobile charges, as the short (7-digit) numbers are not available in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for reasons outside of the BBC’s control.
The numbers to be used will be given during the programmes. Please note that you cannot vote by email, text/SMS or via this website. The only voting by way of mobile app promoted during the programme for UK viewers will be via a mobile phone shortcode launched from the app. No text voting via the app is available in the UK. More information about how to telephone vote through the official Eurovision mobile apps on smartphones can be found here. The app is distributed by a third party and the BBC does not control nor is responsible for any app content or functionality.
3. Vote lines are opened and closed as specified in the programmes. Votes received outside the specified times will not be counted, but may still be charged. Voting times may change.
4. UK-based viewers may only vote in the first Semi-Final on Tuesday 8 May and the Grand Final on Saturday 12 May.
Voting in the Semi-Final
5. Although there are two semi-finals, UK viewers can only vote in the first Semi-Final on 8 May. The six countries who are automatically through to the Grand Final (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the host, Portugal) are featured in the two semi-finals but the public will not be able to vote for them.
6. The scoring for the semi-finals will be the same as the Grand Final. There will be two separate sets of votes awarded; the points from the juries and the points from the televote (see below) from each of the Eurovision countries. The ten highest scoring acts in each Semi Final once all the points have been combined will go through to the Grand Final and are revealed in no particular order.
Voting in the Grand Final
7. In the Grand Final, UK-based callers may NOT vote for the UK act. Any votes from the UK for the UK act will not count and the call may still be charged.
8. In the Grand Final, the final scores of the songs shall be calculated on the basis of both the results of the public televoting and the results of the national juries appointed. For the national jury vote of each country, the score of each song in each country shall be determined as follows: 12 points shall be allocated to the song having obtained the best rank from the national jury; 10 points to the song having obtained the second-best rank from the national jury, 8 points to the song having obtained the third-best rank from the national jury, 7 points to the next, and so on down to 1 point for the song having obtained the tenth-best rank from the national jury. In calculating the combined ranks from each jury member ranking, an exponential weight model is used. For more information please see the Eurovision website. Separately, the points awarded from the public vote from each country for each song shall be determined as follows: an additional 12 points shall be allocated to the song having obtained the highest number of votes from the UK televoting; 10 points to the song having obtained the second-highest number of votes from the UK televoting, 8 points to the song having obtained the third-highest number of votes from the UK televoting, 7 points to the next, and so on down to 1 point for the song having obtained the tenth-highest number of votes from the UK televoting. The jury and public televote points will be presented separately. Each country will award 58 points from the national jury (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12) and 58 points from the public vote (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12). This means that each country will award a total of 116 points. Therefore the theoretical highest number of points one act could get from any one country is 24 (12 each from the national jury and the televoting).
9. The winner of the Grand Final shall be the song which has obtained the highest number of points from the combined calculation of the total points from all of the televoting results and the total points awarded from all of the national juries' from all participating countries.
10. Each national jury will consist of 5 members including a chairperson. The members shall be professionals within the music industry and nationals of the relevant country.
11. The members of each national jury will watch the live transmission of the 2nd dress rehearsal for both the Grand Final and the Semi Final in which that country is voting. After the transmission they will vote in accordance with the European Broadcasting Union Rules.
12. In the event of a tie, the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 Rules prescribe the following:
For resolving a tie in the national jury ranking – a show of hands of the jury will determine the order.
For resolving a tie in a country’s televote – the result of that country’s national jury will determine the order: the song having obtained the best rank of the national jury will be ranked highest.
For resolving a tie after the points from the result of televotes and the result of the national juries have been combined, the winner in that tie shall be the song that received the most points from all the country televotes. If there is a tie in the total number of points awarded via the televotes. the winner shall be the song which has obtained points from the highest number of countries.
If the tied songs have received points from the same number of countries, the highest number of 12-point scores shall be decisive. If the winner still cannot be determined by this procedure, the number of times ten points have been awarded shall be the deciding factor.
If necessary, this method shall continue until account has been taken of the number of times one point has been awarded. In the very unlikely case that after applying the above procedure there is still a tie; the tie shall be resolved by giving precedence to the country which was earlier in the running order for the respective show in question.
More information can be found in the published Rules on the Eurovision website, please see the link below.
13. Voters in the UK can choose either to call from their landline using the long (11-digit) number for the song(s) of their choice or from their mobile phones using the shortcode (7-digit) number for the song(s) of their choice. Please note that callers from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man should call from their landlines using the long (11-digit) number to avoid higher mobile charges, as the short (7-digit) numbers are not available in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for reasons outside of the BBC’s control.
14. Calls to the long (11-digit) number from landlines and mobiles cost 15p plus your network’s access charge. To vote from your mobile in the UK, please call the short (7-digit) number announced for your chosen song(s). Calls from mobiles to the short (7-digit) number cost 15p per vote and should cost less than calling the long (11-digit) number from your mobile so please, if you can, dial the short (7-digit) number from your mobile. You cannot text and you cannot dial the short (7-digit) number from a landline (in some very limited cases, this may result in the call terminating on a subscriber’s number from your same telephone exchange). Telephone calls to the short (7-digit) number initiated via the Eurovision app will be charged as above.
15. Voters must obtain permission from the bill payer before voting. Voters aged 12 and under should obtain parent/guardian consent before voting. Votes are only open to individuals as consumers calling from the UK, and not to any agencies, businesses and/or companies.
16. The BBC can only guarantee that votes individually entered directly through the telephone numbers promoted on the show will count. Voting by way of mobile app promoted during the programme is via a connection to these telephone numbers. Text voting within the app will not be available to UK viewers.
17. Make sure you carefully dial only the number of the song(s) you wish to vote for.
18. The BBC reserves the right to disqualify votes if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that there has been any deliberate attempt to rig or manipulate the voting.
19. The BBC, its sub-contractors, subsidiaries and/or agencies cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any telephone network or line, system, server, provider or otherwise which may result in any vote being lost or not properly registered or recorded.
20. The BBC reserves the right to cancel or suspend voting at any time if it considers it has reasonable cause to do so or if there is a technical breakdown of any kind.
21. For purpose of verifying any claim for refunds (where offered) or investigating possible voting irregularities, the BBC may need to request the network operator to disclose the telephone number that you are voting from. Please note that this will still be required where you have originally opted not to disclose your telephone number (caller’s line identification barring). If you do not agree to this, you should not vote.
22. In the unlikely event of a failure in the telephone votes for technical or similar reasons, Eurovision rules state that the UK Jury scores will be used to allocate the public televote points.
23. The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 is produced under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union. The rules are issued by the European Broadcasting Union and are common across all participating countries. More details can be found on the EBU's website.
24. The voting in this programme accords with the BBC's Code of Conduct for Competitions and Voting, details of which can be found on the BBC’S Standards and Guidelines website.
25. These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales.
1. What are Mobile Short Dial Codes (MSDCs)?
Mobile Short Dial Codes (MSDCs) are the numbers to call (not text) from UK mobile phones where callers are charged a guaranteed fixed price for the call (15p for Eurovision Song Contest UK voting) regardless of their UK mobile network provider. The MSDC numbers are shorter than a normal telephone number, typically between 5 and 7 digits long.
When calling premium rate ‘09’ numbers from mobiles, calls usually cost considerably more than if calling from a BT landline and the cost can vary significantly from mobile network to network. The use of MSDCs for voting therefore has the advantage that callers from UK mobile phone networks should pay a fixed amount of 15p for each vote for Eurovision Song Contest.
When voting from a mobile using a MSDC number you will hear a vote confirmation message in the same way you would when voting by calling a 09 premium rate number from a landline.
2. How do I vote by Mobile Short Dial Code?
Using your UK mobile phone, simply dial the short number shown on screen for your favourite act, when the vote is open. If you call while the vote is open you will hear a message confirming your vote. If you try to call when the vote is closed you will hear a closed non-chargeable message. The numbers allocated for each contestant will change each week. You can’t text/SMS to the Mobile Short Dial Code.
3. Why don’t the UK Mobile Network Operators just charge 15p for calls from mobiles to ‘09’ numbers instead of introducing Mobile Short Dial Codes?
The UK mobile network operators decide the pricing for calling numbers via their networks, including 09 numbers. Viewers are advised to contact their UK mobile network operator if they require more information on their charging rates. Fixed pricing has been agreed for the MSDCs for the Eurovision Song Contest the rate of 15p per vote.
4. Why are you offering voting via Mobile Short Dial Codes instead of Text Voting?
Text voting cannot be included in the Eurovision Song Contest UK vote due to the relatively short periods in which the vote is open and during which the result needs to be provided and verified. There is the risk of potential delays within the mobile networks at busy times which could result in text votes not being received within the period the vote is open. With a phone call, if the exchange is busy you will hear an engaged tone, however with text/SMS you would not know if there is any late delivery of your vote (causing it to not be registered). There are no such potential network delays with Mobile Short Dial Codes other than busy tones at local exchange level with heavy traffic.
In addition, call attempts to Mobile Short Dial Codes outside of the vote open period, or to numbers no longer in use, are non-chargeable to callers, unlike text where charges may still apply.
The advantage of using telephone calls for voting rather than text voting is that the caller knows at the time of the call that their vote has been counted and also that they have been charged for their vote. They will also know from receiving an engaged tone if they did not get through and that they can then just press redial to try again. The same is not true of text voting as the texter has to wait for a confirmation message back from their mobile network operator which may take some time to arrive or which may not arrive at all.
5. Will I be charged if I try to vote using a MSDC when the vote is closed?
No. Calls outside the vote open period will not be chargeable.
6. Why can’t I vote by Mobile Short Dial Codes from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man?
The Channel Islands and Isle of Man are covered by separate mobile network operators who do not currently support voting by Mobile Short Dial Codes. Viewers in these regions may still be able to vote by dialling the 09 numbers for the Eurovision country of their choice from most landlines at a rate of 15p plus any network access charge (in the same way as they may have voted in previous voting shows).
7. Can I call a Mobile Short Dial Code from my landline?
No. Mobile Short Dial Code voting is only available from mobile phones, if you try to call a Mobile Short Dial Code from your 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 as it may match a “local” telephone number which may result in a ‘wrong number’ call being made. Such calls would be chargeable if they are answered.
8. Can I vote by text message to the Mobile Short Dial Codes?
No. The Eurovision Song Contest UK vote will be made using telephone call voting only as this offers the caller the benefits of knowing at the time that they place their vote that their vote has been counted and that they have been charged. This would not be true of text votes and so text voting will not be available when voting from the UK.
9. Can I still call the 09 numbers from my mobile?
Yes, but it is likely to cost you considerably more than 15p for the call. The 09 voting numbers should preferably only be called from your landline if you have one. If you decide to call the 09 voting numbers from your UK mobile phone then you will hear a non-chargeable message at the start of the call asking you to call the Mobile Short Dial Codes instead. If you remain on the line after the message then you will be able to vote for your chosen act but your UK mobile network operator will charge you at their chosen rate for calls to the 09 number which could be considerably more than the 15p per call cost advertised.
10. Will I receive ‘spam’ / unwanted marketing texts if I vote by Mobile Short Dial Code?
No, you should not receive any text messages from the Eurovision Song Contest or any other organisation as a result of voting using the MSDCs. The BBC does not supply or sell on mobile telephone numbers to any third party, except if required to do so for legal reasons. Text spamming is caused by companies sending unsolicited text messages to mobile telephone numbers. The BBC in no way supports this practice and takes great care to guard numbers from any unauthorised use. If you receive unwanted text messages from other companies that you are being charged for, you can contact Phone-paid Services Authority, the premium services regulator on 0300 30 300 30 (standard geographic charges from landlines and mobiles will apply) between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) or via www.psauthority.org.uk to report this.
11. Why can’t I call the MSDC number from my mobile?
There are a small number of UK mobile phone users who are unable to call MSDCs, you should check with your mobile telephone service provider to see if you can lift the calling bar or simply vote by calling the ‘09’ voting numbers using a landline.
12. Why can’t I call the MSDC number from my “Voice over IP” (VOIP) connection?
Not all UK telephone network operators, including some VOIP operators, allow voting by traditional premium rate 09 numbers. The new MSDC numbers are intended only for voting via the UK mobile network operators and so will almost certainly not be supported by the fixed line and VoIP network operators.
13. How do I vote via the app from the UK?
It is possible to use the Eurovision Song Contest app to help you vote in the UK, however your vote will be cast by a mobile short dial code call. Within the app you will be directed to the mobile short dial code to place a call to vote for your favourite country. Calls from mobiles to the short dial code number cost 15p per vote. Please note that the Eurovision Song Contest app is operated on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union and is not operated by the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content or functioning of the app. Please note accessing non-voting content on the Eurovision Song Contest app may incur data charges. Please contact your mobile provider for more details.
14. Why have I been charged outside the vote window?
We state clearly on screen and verbally when the voting period opens and closes and that callers should wait till that time before casting their vote. There is a small chance that if you called outside this time that another network other than BT would charge for this call. If you have been charged, then notify your service provider immediately.
15. I was trying to call for X country and got Y country
All voters are asked to dial carefully. The BBC has implemented a thorough testing schedule before each show to ensure correct audio is playing on the correct contestant line. If you have a phonebill you can send us, we can check whether the number you called corresponds with the correct contestant audio.
16. I have been trying to vote, but keep getting the engaged tone
Because the phonelines are very active throughout the UK when the vote window opens, some callers may experience the engaged tone - especially those in rural/remote areas. We recommend that you call back within a couple of minutes when the traffic through your local exchange would have subsided. Engaged tones are controlled at local telephone exchange and something that the BBC cannot control.
17. I called but received a dead tone
If after dialling the first four numbers of the premium rate number you heard a dead tone - then this means that you are premium rate barred and you should check with your network operator about lifting the ban if you wish to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest.
18. I tried voting but couldn’t get through, why?
Given the high volume of viewers and callers that some TV voting shows generate, it is possible for a very large number of people to pick up the phone simultaneously when the onscreen announcement is made. Sometimes this can cause some callers to get an engaged tone for short periods of time immediately after an onscreen announcement; however, any congestion tends to clear quite quickly.
19. Can one contestant’s number be constantly engaged and another contestant’s free?
Like all the big shows, the Eurovision Song Contest uses a voting system where at least the first eight digits of the phone numbers and the first 5 digits are the same for all contestants, with only the last few digits of the phone number changing depending on who you want to vote for.
As the telephone network only uses the first eight digits in a telephone number and first 5 digits for the number to route calls to the voting system, it is impossible for calls for different contestants to be treated differently.
Once calls reach the voting system they are answered in turn, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each answering point is instructed to accept votes for all contestants; there are no dedicated answering points for individual contestants/acts.
20. Does the BBC receive any revenue from the calls?
No. BBC does not receive any revenue.
21. Where can I see the results of the all the national juries and all the public votes from the Eurovision Song Contest 2018?
The full result, including the televoting and the jury result in every participating country will be published on Eurovision.tv after the Grand Final on the 12th May 2018.
22. The Jury vote calculation has changed in 2018 – what are the changes?
The Eurovision Song Contest is organised by the European Broadcasting Union, who decide on the rules of the contest. These can be found here. The national juries watch the second dress rehearsal and rank the songs in order. These ranks are combined to form an overall rank for that national jury. The song with the best overall rank from the national jury shall receive 12 points, the song with the second best overall rank will receive 10 points and so on. The BBC does not control how these scores are calculated.
The European Broadcasting Union oversees these calculations. In the past the calculation of the overall rank followed a linear weighting model whereby each ranking of each juror had the same impact. This year the European Broadcasting Union will calculate the rankings based on an exponential weighting model – they will allocate ‘score values’ to each ranking position, the higher ranks will have higher ‘score values’. These values will favour the higher ranks over the lower ranks, as the scores decrease exponentially down the ranks. By changing to the new scoring the European Broadcasting Union has stated that it aims to favour those songs generally ranked higher, with less sensitivity to one juror ranking being significantly different to the other jurors. More information has been provided here.
Throughout these FAQ’s “UK Mobile Phones” means mobile phones provided in the UK under UK contracts by the network operators Vodafone, O2, Everything Everywhere (previously T Mobile and Orange) , ‘3’ as well as Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Sky Mobile and other virtual network operators.