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T Qualification

The reality TV phenomenon has also invaded other areas. The voting for the 2002 Christmas number one was dominated by the boy and girl bands from Popstars: The Rivals. Even a group rejected by the TV series (the Cheeky Girls) made it into the Christmas Top Ten having earlier been number one. The only lesson to be learnt here is that quality of song has nothing to do with winning—good marketing, wide distribution and a gullible public are all you need.


The other consideration for speciality markets is that they nearly all involve events where someone is likely to be privy to inside information, whether it be a Big Brother vote or who will be the next manager of a football team. Of course, the bookmakers may not have the inside line—but you can be confident they are trying to find out. For this reason any bookmaker—whether fixed-odds or spread—which is markedly out of line with its rivals should be noted.


These are events where there is no strong form to go on or great statistical analysis. The firms do not want to be burnt on a fun market or have huge liabilities on a runner they know little about, so a price out of the ordinary—either shorter or longer than the rest of the market—stands out like a sore thumb.