Eight million UK television viewers were left frustrated on Saturday night when they could not register their votes for Pop Idol as BT crumbled under the sheer strain of calls. Keystone, a Web metrics company that checked the sites during the peak period on Saturday night, found they fared better with the strain.
According to Keynote the www.popidolonline.co.uk site was unavailable to over 30% of Pop Idol fans between 8.00 and 9.00pm on Saturday. The second site, www.itv.com/popidol , was 100% available between 8 and 10pm. However, on this site the average download time was 7.31 seconds between 9.00 and 10.00pm.
Olivier Carron, vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Asia at Keystone said: "These are very good results [for the Web sites]. Those who tried phoning and couldn't get through may not bother next time, whereas Web sites will have delivered many more satisfied customers."