Betting on television reality shows is becoming more and more popular, with the viewing figures for the programs often running into millions every week, providing some memorable moments over the years.
Much like many sporting events and competitions, shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here have knockout rounds, semi-finals and finals. As a result, there is a wide range of betting markets outside of the odds on the overall winner on shows ranging from Big Brother to X Factor, The Apprentice to the Great British Bake Off.
Below we’ll detail the key information on the major TV Betting events as well as highlighting the best betting offers available on them when available.
Latest TV Betting Offers & Promotions
Note: Most offers tend to be seasonal and concentrated around the finals of more popular shows.
About TV Betting
Betting on your favourite TV show is a sector within the betting industry that seems to be gaining more and more traction every year. As shows such as strictly Come Dancing, X-Factor and the Great British Bake Off consume more of our free time, the bookmakers have jumped on the ability to offer up a host of betting markets for each show.
But, there are some major issues surrounding this as a lot of the shows aren’t aired as a live program, which means results and winners will be known by a select few. At this point it’s down to the crew and contestants to basically keep tight lipped before the episode airs.
However, the best laid plans don’t always work out, which we saw in the most recent series of the Great British Bake Off in 2017. The show had seen a huge change, moving from BBC to Channel 4 and also losing their 2 hosts and 1 of their main judges, the much loved, Merry Berry. She was replaced by Prue Leith and whilst travelling in Asia when the final was aired, had not taken into account the time difference, tweeting her congratulations to the winner, several hours before the final aired. A pretty big blunder we would say!
But where do these types of errors and issue sit with these types of markets?
Well, in terms of the above example, bookmakers obviously suspended the market as soon as they got wind, but it’s likely that bets were taken on the back of people seeing this tweet, likely before all bookies got wind of it.
There have been other instances of bookmakers having to suspend markets, which came about from the 2015 Bake Off, with one punter placing several large bets in Ladbrokes shops across the Ipswich area, often betting the maximum amount on the same person to win, slashing their odds from 12/1 to even money.
Now, this was after just week 1 and filming for the final hadn’t happened, but it’s still likely, whilst not proven, that some insider knowledge had been used. One way that they now combat this is massive reducing the max bet for these markets, meaning they aren’t going to go broke any time soon. For example, the max bet on the latest episode of I’m a Celebrity is just £325 on bet365.
As the range of these popular reality TV shows seems to show no signs of slowing down, the bookmakers are still able to offer a wide range of markets. We have listed some of the more popular TV Shows below and how they work betting wise.
The X Factor has been around since 2004 and was set up to replace Pop Idol, which ran for two years prior to that. Simon Cowell was the brains behind the project and since then they have aired every year since, often breaking ITV records for most viewed TV program along the way.
The show is now a global brand more than anything else and with it has produced over 170 different winners around the world. The program, in the UK at least, starts in the last quarter of the year and the whole process works up to the winning artist being able to release their single the week before Christmas, essentially in an attempt to get Christmas number 1.
It works well as a betting platform in terms of each week being shown live, so there are no issues with linked information and it often means that bookies are willing to accept more money as bets than pre-recorded shows.
I’m a Celebrity…. Get Me Out Of Here!
I’m a Celebrity is another of the nation’s favourites and sees 12 celebrities almost literally dropped into the jungle in Australia and needing to survive for up to three weeks. The show has become one of the funniest on TV, with the privileges and silver-service these celebrities have come to expect totally removed.
The show has been running since 2002 and in that time has been popular in 12 other countries at any given time, although it’s in the UK where it’s been running the longest and had the most success.
But, like all of these programs, there have been certain levels of scrutiny and criticism surrounding it, mainly coming from wildlife protection groups. One incident in 2009 saw Gin0 D’Acampo kill and cook a rat, and was later charged with cruelty to animals, but these were later dropped.
As I’m a Celebrity goes out live, it’s another popular choice for bookmakers, similar to that of the X-Factor. It’s easy to gauge how the public might be looking to vote, mainly through social media channels, so definitively some scope to find success in betting from shows like this.
BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY)
The Sports personality of the year is one of the most prestigious awards for any sportsperson. It’s been running since 1954 and celebrates the achievements of sportsmen and women over the last 12 months within the UK. On top of the personality, it also includes Team of the year, Overseas personality of the year and life time achievement awards.
This is probably the most competitive of all the TV shows when it comes to betting, mainly because it’s actually linked to sport. The betting is often quite fierce actually and many bookies you will find offer promotions targeting the program. You’re likely to see betting limits massively increased over the other TV programs within this field to as much as 10x the max bet.
Big Brother started life as a bit of concept game show in 2000, putting random strangers into a confined space for a prolonged period of time and seeing how they act. Whilst the show has been adapted, the concept of it remains pretty much the same and it’s the fact people are living virtually on top of each other that makes for interesting viewing.
The program has also lead to some pretty big betting incidents over the years. The fact that the show can be streamed live online and also a catch-up episode each night, means that you have two opportunities to place a bet. But, as with any of these shows, you probably learn more about it on social media than anywhere else, crating a great news source if you are betting on these types of TV shows.
Strictly Come Dancing
Another of the nation’s favourites, Strictly come dancing takes celebrities and pairs them with professional dance partners. They then have to dance a certain style of dance each week, getting voted on by the judges and then the public.
Interestingly, ‘Strictly’ includes one of the biggest range of betting markets that we have seen with these types of shows. You can choose outright winner, top man, top woman, next elimination and gender of winner. The majority of the above simply include outright winner, but if you shop around at some of the bigger bookies you can sometimes find a few more niche markets as well.
One of the most popular TV shows at the moment has to be Love Island. It’s got an almost cult following in the UK and includes a group of contestants that all live in a villa together in Mallorca. The first Love Island was actually aired in 2005 when they ran two series of a celebrity version, both of which were deemed to be huge successes.
The current version of the show is just regular people and whilst people were wondering if this would have the same appeal as celebrities, the show has been a massive hit since it reappeared on our screens in 2015. Popularity has continued to increase with viewing figures starting at a modest 570,000 per episode average in 2015, to a massive 3.96million per episode average in 2018.
From a betting point of view, the markets are pretty slim, although you are generally betting on either which person is going to be evicted from the villa next or the overall winner. There are sometimes a few spin-off markets as well, such as which couples might get together and also if people are going to walk out prior to end of the show.
The Eurovision song contest is one that needs little introduction. It’s been running since 1956 and now includes 50 countries who all enter a contestant to sing and try and be named as Eurovision winner for the year.
Whilst the name would suggest that it’s just European countries, this is not the case, as Australia have been entered into the competition since 2015 after initially being in to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the contest. Even though the show is very much taken with a tongue in cheek attitude for most, the voting that occurs can be highly political and those that are not strongly allied with several countries can often suffer, ala the UK!
Whilst it may seem a little bit of an odd competition to bet on, you need to remember that it gets tens of millions of viewers from all over the world tuning in, making it a huge event. Betting can be tricky at best but given that there are now semi-finals and also more access to dress rehearsal acts, it’s a much more competitive market than it maybe once was. Markets can include overall winner, points spread and even who comes last.
The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off has been on out screens since 2010, but even though it’s still relatively young, feels as though it’s been an institution for decades. The initial cast of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were soon to become national treasures and the competition really started to heat up with the lucrative TV and media deals that the winners used to be able to wrap up after the event.
The competition itself includes a group of bakers that need to impress the judges. Each week is a new theme and with each week one person will leave, before getting down to the final three. Rounds include the signature round, the show stopper and the technical.
Betting has become oddly popular with the show. However, it’s one on our list that doesn’t go out live, so the winner will be known prior to the end. It’s for this reason that you will see bookmakers drastically limiting the amount of money that they are willing to accept on programs like this.
Markets include things like the baker of the week, overall winner and person to be voted off each week. You can also bet on trivial things such as if Paul Hollywood would offer out one of his infamous handshakes for people that had performed particularly well.
The Voice is one of a number of programs that have come out to rival the success that X Factor has seen over the years. It’s a music show where people showcase their talent in front of 4 judges. The judges can’t see the singers at first, only hear them and if they like what they hear then they hit their button and turn around. The singer can choose from the judges that turn around for them to be their mentor and then move through to the knockout stages.
The program has been running since 2012 and is very much seen as a more professional version of things like the X Factor. They don’t include comedy acts and the singers are all generally of a really high standard, which makes the decisions harder for the judges as they can only take on so many singers.
The later rounds of The Voice are aired live, which means that betting is much more competitive. You can bet on acts to get through certain weeks and also bet on the overall winner of the event. The winner takes home £100,000 in cash and get a record deal with Republic Records.
The Apprentice has to be one of the biggest TV Shows to hit our screens over the last decade. The show is headed by that of Lord Sugar who whittles down the line-up to just one person, who he then eventually hires to come work with his company and put into action their business plan along with financial backing of said plan.
It’s been on air since 2005 and it’s as strong now as it ever has been. The contestants are often made to do seemingly straightforward tasks, but as the characters of the show collide, it usually makes for great telly when they cross each other and disagree.
This is one of the bigger TV shows when it comes to the volume of bets that are taken on the show. It’s one that people often get wrong as well, given the cut-throat nature of people getting sacked after just one bad week. People getting sacked on a weekly basis and the overall winner are the two most popular betting markets for the show.
Celebrity Big Brother
Celebrity Big Brother is an adaptation by the massively popular TV Series, Big Brother. It first aired in 2001, some 4 years after the original show aired and most people would state when the show was at its peak.
The rules and regulations for the celebrity version remained the same as the original. The housemates were able to donate their winners fee to charity, although each celebrity did get paid to enter the house as long as they remained without leaving. This is money that they kept. The show runs for 2 weeks and the first winner was Jack Dee.
Betting on the event is a popular one with the bookmakers as the markets can be affected in real time following daily updates on the TV show. The overall winner and a person to be voted out of the house are the two main betting markets for the show. You will find that due to the live nature of the show, liquidity of the markets is higher than most TV shows, meaning you can bet higher amounts.