When it comes to TV, it seems there’s nothing that TV executives won’t try and many of our favorite books and films have even been adapted over the years. What’s more, some of the world’s most popular games have also been televised – whether video games or board games like Scrabble. With this in mind, why haven’t we seen bingo TV shows? After all, there are approximately 100 million players around the globe. Here, we explore the idea in more detail.
A full house
The first game of bingo was believed to be played in 1530 in Italy and, nowadays, the game is played in America, the UK, Australia, Germany, India, Japan, Spain and Sweden, and that’s not even half of it. You can even play online and in physical establishments close to home by searching for bingo halls near me. There’s definitely an audience out there and players are even going to new heights in order to play. Quite literally.
Mount Everest saw the highest ever game played in 2009 where 25 people raised more than £100,000 for a cancer charity by playing bingo over 5,300 meters above sea level. The biggest game attracted nearly 500,000 people online in 2010 in Japan and, in Colombia, the biggest offline game of bingo was played in 2006 with just over 70,000 players. It clearly attracts huge numbers of people, so why no bingo TV show yet?
A history of game shows
A number of games – both board and video – have been adapted over the years and a little digging shows that bingo was actually one of them. In fact, ABC launched National Bingo Night in 2007 which was unfortunately axed after just six episodes. After a rebrand and reboot, the Game Show Network revealed Bingo America which encouraged in-studio and at-home play with printable sheets. While this show was slightly better received, viewing figures never really reached the heights that TV executives had been dreaming of and this too was axed in 2009.
Since then, there hasn’t been another TV show that taps into the world of bingo. But isn’t it about time someone did?
It’s not just the typical demographic of bingo players that has changed over the years but also technology and TV. Both have grown with advancements, which could not just make bingo TV shows more interactive with real-time play but also more interesting. Apps and online play now mean that bingo can be enjoyed whenever and wherever players want – which is something TV executives could investigate further.
What’s more, we can’t ignore the fact that, as a game, bingo is even more popular than it was in 2007 when the first bingo TV show was released. More men are playing now, and reportedly make up 30% of the overall audience – meaning bingo TV shows are likely to draw in a big and varied group of people. So, with these facts in mind, isn’t it about time that bingo was given another chance?