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Lottery Show to Move Online

Lottery Show to Move Online
Updated: Monday 28th November 2016

National Lottery draws will be exclusively available for viewing online from January 2017, it has been reported. Draws that are currently televised live on BBC One will be found on the BBC iPlayer service instead, and all draws will also be broadcast via live streaming on Facebook. This shake-up is part of a brand new three-year deal that has been made between the BBC and lottery organisers, and is intended to fit in with how people check their numbers nowadays.

The Lotto and Thunderball draws have been featured on the small screen since their launch, and the very first lottery draw attracted an audience of 20 million. Early lottery shows were presented by big-name stars of the time, including Noel Edmonds and Anthea Turner, and many episodes featured newspaper astrologer Mystic Meg, who used to give cryptic (and obviously for-entertainment-only) predictions based on her reading of celestial bodies.

Televised lottery draws have given viewers some very memorable moments over the years, and on one occasion a draw was delayed by Fathers 4 Justice protestors storming the set, much to the surprise of presenter Eamonn Holmes. The lottery has also inspired the creation of some very popular television game shows, including In It to Win It, Who Dares Wins, Break the Safe, Win Your Wish List and 5-Star Family Reunion.

Unfortunately, whilst terrestrial television was undoubtedly the best medium for reaching the widest audience in the 1990’s, that is no longer the case. Today’s television viewer has access to so many channels – and to so much ‘on demand’ content via satellite, cable and online services – that confining a lottery broadcast to a single terrestrial channel at a specified time does it a disservice.

Live lottery draws are currently broadcast as and when the television schedule permits, so the times of those draws are not consistent from week to week. One week the Lotto draw might be broadcast at 8:30pm, and the very next week the draw for the same game might be broadcast at 10pm. That inconsistency can be frustrating for players who want to check their tickets, so when the broadcasts move online it is hoped that a more regular schedule will be able to be maintained, making it a lot easier for players to find out if they have won a life-changing jackpot.

From January, all that players will need to do to watch the live lottery draw is log into Facebook or visit the BBC iPlayer service. Since both of those platforms can be accessed in multiple ways – via a Smart TV, computer, tablet or smartphone, for example – the live draws will be far more accessible than ever before. Whilst some people will no doubt be disappointed by the disappearence of the associated show, we think that it will bring a lot of benefits, and we look forward to seeing how the lottery makes the most of the ever-changing online platforms over the coming years.

Published: Monday 28th November 2016

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