TVB tries to atone for voting fiasco by giving away two Minis
TVB will add another car to a prize draw to try to make up for the online voting debacle during its Miss Hong Kong pageant on Sunday, when the station's server crashed because too many viewers tried to pick the winner.
While some may have wanted what TVB billed as a first taste of "universal suffrage", many had their eyes on the Mini Cooper that was to be given to a randomly selected voter.
In the end, embarrassed station chiefs had to resort to picking the pageant winner through a panel of judges and scrap the car draw. Now, TVB will give away two Mini Coopers in a programme this Sunday.
The station's broadcasting general manager, Cheong Shin-keong, said yesterday the draw had proved popular and the increased giveaway was to "live up to the promise". But they aren't taking any chances this time. General manager Mark Lee Po-on said viewers would have to pre-register before the lucky draw. They will have 48 hours to do so, with registration procedures to be announced today, said Lee.
Meanwhile, TVB said it was hiring an independent company to investigate what went wrong with the beauty pageant voting system.
A "global company with relevant experience and expertise" would examine what the television station called an "abnormal flow" during the 15-minute voting session. More than 14 million attempts to vote were made during the window.
Lee said he had not ruled out the possibility of a hacker attack, but conceded his staff "might have been over-aggressive when striking a balance between the enthusiasm and promptness of the voting and the technical-cum-network support".
He said no one would face any punishment. "Our colleagues had the courage to take the risk. They have already taken on great responsibility. I don't think they need to bear more," he said.
Sandy Yu Wing-san, the station's non-drama production controller, said the team might not have predicted that some TV viewers would log on to the website before the vote had started, possibly creating a jam.
Lee said the station had written to the Communications Authority, which had received 691 complaints as of yesterday.