The chief executive officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, has said the Big Brother Lockdown Season recorded the highest votes ever in the history of the show.
He also said it cost N3.5 billion to put together the reality show which lasted 10 weeks.
He stated this at a media briefing and prize presentation to the season’s winner, Laycon, in Lagos on Wednesday.
Mr Ugbe also said the show recorded 900 million votes (inclusive of online voting) from the different voting platforms and the DSTV application, which was way beyond the number of votes the show has ever recorded.
Speaking at the prize presentation, Mr Ugbe said, “Planning a show of this magnitude during these times was not without its challenges. For one, we resorted to holding virtual auditions where we received over 30,000 video entries, from which the ‘Lockdown 20’ were selected.”
He added that Big Brother Naija has changed the way employment and relevance are being defined.
In addition to participants becoming instant celebrities and influencers, other industries have been significantly impacted by the show and its participants.
He also disclosed that over 900 million votes were recorded across SMS, mobile, website and the DStv & GOtv apps.
Mr Ugbe thanked the viewers for watching and appreciated the headline sponsor, BetWay; the gold sponsor Guinness; category sponsors, Pepsi, OPPO, Flutterwave, Indomie, WAW detergent, Darling Hair, Innoson Motors, Revolution Plus, TravelBeta; and all others who supported the show in different ways.
The channels director of Africa Magic, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, also said the just concluded show had a very large engagement and appreciated every fan of the show who stayed tuned to the 24 hours show.
She also stated that the level of engagement for this season was off the charts while appreciating the housemates for bringing the drama and keeping the viewers tuned to the channel.
“It’s been a journey of drama and excitement. This year’s engagement was off the chain. Right from the first day the show began, the viewership and the commitment to it was massive,” she said.
The headline sponsor of the show, BetWay, represented by the local director, Chris Ubosi, announced that the team that won the BetWay Make a Difference task, Laycon and Ozo, will be awarded N5 million to support the initiative they argued for.
Mr Ubosi also appreciated the organisers of Big Brother Naija for giving them the opportunity to showcase their brand in Nigeria.
He said, “Big Brother Naija gave us a chance to prove that we are not just a global brand but we are here, we are present in Nigeria. We are going to give N5 million to support the sports development challenge that Laycon and Ozor participated in. It was such a good initiative, thank you for arguing hard for it.”
Even though the show is a winner takes all contest, where the housemate that emerges first carts away N85 million worth of prizes, the marketing manager, Spirit of Guinness Nigeria, Aigbeme Okonkwo, announced that Dorathy will also be going on a trip planned for the winner.
“We are sad that the show has come to an end, we look forward to future partnership with BBN. We will be taking the winner and the first runner up on a journey through the Guinness house in Ireland, Dublin,” she said.
The overall winner of the show, Olamilekan, ‘Laycon’ Agbeleshe thanked the organisers for giving him the platform to express himself and expressed his love to his fans for supporting him till the end of the show.
“I have always said as humans, you’re meant to use your life to shed light in the lives of other people. For me, what I have is music and I hope to use my music to impact the lives of a lot of people out there,” he said.
Laycon was awarded his gifts at the prize presentation ceremony held at the MultiChoice studios in Lagos.
There he was also presented with the cash prize of N30 million, an SUV and a two-bedroom house. Also given was a N5 million prize from Betway awarded to Laycon and Ozo on their MAD Sports initiative, and all-expense paid trip to the Guinness House Dublin for Dorathy and Laycon.
Laycon, who made history with over 60 per cent of the Big Brother Naija final votes, thanked the organizers, fellow housemates, family, fans and sponsors of the event.
“I don’t know what to say, I love you guys very much,” he said. When asked about his plans and projects after the house, Laycon disclosed that he intends to work on projects that will impact the society positively.
In his appreciation speech, Laycon thanked all the sponsors for their gifts and also appreciated the other 19 housemates, saying that each one of them is a winner and a champion. He presented a poem to them at the end of his speech.
The organisers also added that the Big Brother Naija reality show continues to touch not just the creative industry, but other industries as well.
According to them, over 1,000 people, directly and indirectly, supported the production of Big Brother Naija Lockdown edition.
‘‘Cumulatively over the years, Big Brother Naija has provided over 10,000 jobs for fashion designers, content creators, interior decorators, logistic companies, prop makers, make-up artists, photographers, housekeepers, carpenters, caterers, and many more,’’ Mr Ugbe added.
Earlier in the competition, MultiChoice promised fans who locked in their favourite housemate a chance to win N1 million naira each. At the prize presentation, Laycon with the help of host Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, did a raffle draw where 30 lucky fans won N1 million each.