Reality TV is a genre of television programming in which “real life” people are followed in a game or situation. This is now the most popular TV format in the UK with programmes such as: Britain’s Got Talent; The X Factor; Strictly Come Dancing; Big Brother; and I’m a Celebrity. Betting interest in these programmes has grown along with their viewing figures. Two current runners with betting markets are: The Voice and The Jump. One is decided by viewers votes, and the other by winter sport competition results. One is for celebrities and one for ordinary members of the public. These are important considerations for the bettor.
The Voice is moving to ITV next year as the BBC can no longer afford it. It has 7m viewers, with Boy George and Paloma Faith making appearances as new coaches this year. With 35 current contestants, and more to be released, there is a long way to go until the finals in late March. As with many other shows such as the X Factor, the past winners Leanne Mitchell, Andrea Begley; Jermain Jackman, and Stevie McCrorie, have failed to shine subsequently since their breakthroughs. There is little to note about outright winner prices at the moment apart from Corals stand out prices on the bottom half of the market (offering 100/1 on many contestants that other bookmakers have in at 25’s.)
Less fortunate than The Voice, is C4’s The Jump. There have been injuries to the likes of Beth Tweddle (fractured neck) Mark Francis Vandelli (fractured ankle) and Rebecca Adlington (dislocated shoulder.) Viewing figures are down to 1.9m amidst calls for it to be axed after this series. The format is a winter sports event, with the two losers facing each others in the live air jump to decide who is eliminated. The final is in early March. Previous winners were Joe McElderry (X factor winner) and Joey Essex (reality TV personality.) This year the remaining fancied contestants are: Tom Parker (2/1 Corals; Boy band member) Dean Cain (5/2 Totesport; US actor) Ben Cohen (5/1 William Hills; Rugby union player) and Heather Mills (10/1 generally; Environmentalist and former wife of Paul McCartney.)
So how do you choose a winner;
- Watch the programmes- audience reaction should be studied
- Follow social media trending – look at the number of twitter followers each celebrity competitor has)
- Know and understand the rules- judges’ votes can carry a lot of weight on some shows; the voting system on The Voice in the past has been deemed unfair and has been changed; and X factor now has a voting app allowing free voting.
- Don’t be afraid to take on favourites (who have a poor record in these markets)
- Compare different bookmakers’ prices
- Contestant’s personality is important
- Read the gossip in the tabloids
- Listen to your wife
- Study the profile of previous winners
- Study internet polls (Paloma Faith’s team (The Voice) 5/2 generally has been highly rated by voting memberships on TV gossip websites)
- Watch for changed rules (a now simplified course in The Jump should favour athletes like Ben Cohen 5/1 generally.)
Don’t expect to make serious money by betting on reality shows, but it might make it more bearable to watch.