It’s one of the most popular segments on Sunrise, often creating iconic on-air moments and leaving hosts Natalie Barr and David ‘Kochie’ Koch red-faced with the unpredictable nature of live TV.
But the Channel Seven breakfast show will be saying goodbye to the famous Cash Cow competition for the near future after Telstra announced some major changes to the way viewers can enter.
The mobile network revealed last month that SMS to premium numbers will no longer be allowed, preventing users from casting votes on TV shows and participating in TV competitions.
In fact, Telstra’s statement actually lists “Channel Seven’s Cash Cow” as an example of a premium SMS entertainment service that will no longer be available.
They explained that the decision is part of their strategy to “simplify our product offerings” for customers, mainly due to the fact that the service is controlled by a third party.
Telstra’s change has ultimately left the network without a way to earn revenue to cover the payout for the winner, which starts at $10,000 each day but can increase when the caller doesn’t answer in three rings.
The famous Cash Cow competition, which charges entrants 55c per text message, hasn’t been featured on the show at all in 2022 and was last mentioned on social media back in November.
However, the segment is said to be returning “in a few weeks” with a new entry mechanism, sources tell TV Blackbox.
The publication claims that the new system will be cheaper than the original entry fee and will make it easier for people to enter multiple times.
The Cash Cow has provided plenty of memorable moments in Sunrise’s history, whether it’s callers swearing live on-air or giving an emotional response to hearing that they’ve won.
Late last year hosts Nat and Kochie were left stunned when one viewer, who had just won $70,000, admitted that she didn’t answer the call very quickly as she had fallen asleep during the show.
“You were a bit slow to answer the phone,” Kochie began. “Were you a bit distracted by the kiddies?”
“Um, I actually fell asleep on the lounge!” she replied, which was met with a fit of laughter from the team.
“Thanks! That must’ve been Eddy reading the news,” Nat commented, while Mark Beretta added, “Not during sport!”
“Was it something we said?!” Edwina Bartholomew chimed in.
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