Here at Bingo Hideout we have been keeping our finger on the pulse of all things bingo for you since we launched, and since our recent makeover our commitment to the game has expanded along with our membership. Our bingo investigator has been checking out telly bingo this week, and the latest news is that ITV is about to get in on all the bingo fun.
As the latest big name to get in on the ever-changing face of bingo in the UK, (which currently has Mecca offering mobile bingo to UK players) and as a result of Sky joining forces with Gala and the launch of telly bingo on RTE, ITV have announced the launch of live bingo.
Airing for the first time on 4th June the ITV show will be using the same format as popular Australian and US versions of the show and is to be presented by Melinda Messenger and Michael Underwood. The show also features a statistician who will keep an eye on the odds for players during each game and tickets can be downloaded in advance from the ITV website. Shows run between Tuesday and Saturday and start at midnight replacing the current flurry of quiz shows.
Despite sharing the US format, ITV is unlikely to mention in its promotion that the US version of the same show was cancelled after one season. ITV has great ambitions for the live game in the light of the ongoing market boom for bingo media in the UK. Here at Bingo Hideout we think that bingo’s first foray into nationwide terrestrial TV can only enhance the game’s huge popularity and ultimately may even lead to a primetime show to rival the National Lottery (who it seems to us is its obvious rival).
Having so many choices of how to play bingo currently available to UK players means the audience has changed enormously in recent years and is now estimated to consist in the main of players under 50. Estimated at a 90% share of the overall audience, the younger generation seem to be getting in on the accessibility of one of the country’s long standing favourite games in order to have fun. Once the ITV show has caught on, it is likely that the younger end of the audience share will increase again as it’s less likely the older generation will want to play after 12pm!