The European Broadcasting Union have announced today that they will be holding participating broadcasts more accountable for voting in the contest. This follows acknowledgement that there had been attempts in 2013 to manipulate the televote of the contest.
They said that attempts had been made to manipulate the televote, however that these attempts had failed, the votes were declared invalid. The EBU went on to confirm to ESCInsight today that one countries jury vote was not used in the second semi final, they did not confirm which country it was however they told the site that:
Indeed, one jury vote was cancelled out because of an error in the results. Standard procedure is to switch to full televoting in that case. We are not going into further details such as which country, and the rather technical details behind the reason, which is in line with the decision to not reveal the detailed split results in 2013. However, we prefer openness, and if we do that, we’ll do it in a thorough way, as it was decided for 2014.
The Reference Group for the contest have now taken steps to clamp down on the issue, this according to the Reference Group means that:
if voting irregularities are detected before, during or after the contest in favour of any represented country, the Reference Group will automatically initiate procedures which carry a penalty of exclusion of the respective participating broadcaster from the contest for a maximum of three consecutive years.
Dr Frank Dieter Freiling, chairman of the Reference Group, went on to say:
Just as football clubs are in principle accountable for the behaviour of their fans, we will hold – on a case-by-case basis – participating broadcasters accountable and make them responsible to prevent voting irregularities in favour of their entry,
Back in September it was announced that jurors names from all countries would have to be published before the contest, and that their votes will be published online after the contest to ensure transparency.