Strictly Come Dancing (SCD) has waltzed back onto our screens, with the BBC’s flagship reality show overlapping ITV’s X-Factor and dominating the viewing figures.
Simon Cowell and co managed a paltry 5.4 million compared to its rivals 10.2 million, but is this popularity on screen mirrored in the betting community?
Jess Bridge of Ladbrokes has spoken to SBC about the strictly phenomenon, a dwindling X Factor and the overall popularity of this TV genre: “Reality betting is huge and a multi-million pound market for us throughout the calendar year. In the past X Factor has had the X Factor with punters and it would come out on top in the war of the wagers, however, as the ITV show’s viewing figures dwindle further south and Strictly’s rocket north, we are seeing the same mirrored within betting patterns.”
As betting patterns mirror viewing figures, what has happened to make people switch off what was once the standard bearer? Bridge shed some light, adding: “I believe this is because both viewers and punters of X Factor have grown a little tired with the same old stories and cliches happening year after year.
“In a former life bets would pour in on Ella Henderson or Olly Murs winning X Factor because they’re a “normal’ person and this could change their life, rather than Strictly simply furthering a celebrity’s career, but the format has become a little jaded and everyone knows now it’s a near certainty there will be a ‘controversial’ act, such as Jedward, Rylan or Honey G, that will a) make the live shows, and, b) get quite far in the competition, thus reducing the credibility of the show which then has a knock-on effect to the eventual winner.”
Fifteen celebrities have kick started their SCD journey, with ex JLS member Aston Merrygold the favourite at 5/2 with Ladbrokes. It is, however, another ex-singer turned star of the stage that has attracted the early attention of one punter, Bridge commented: “Aston’s the favourite due to his background in JLS and the fact he went to a stage school during his youth. He ticks all the boxes of a dancer that will go far in the competition so we’ll be keen to keep him onside.
“The biggest wager of the series placed to date has been £1000 on Alexandra at 5/1 – placed before the first show (last) weekend – but as the weeks go on and punters start to get a better idea of who will actually be a serious contender for glitterball glory the large stakes will soon start rolling in.”