The UK series of The Voice has been slammed by rival channel ITV for employing 'dirty tactics' which ensured that it over-ran by three minutes on Saturday night (April 21, 2012). The result of the apparent mis-timing was that viewers wishing to switch over in time to catch the start of Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent missed the start of the ITV programme.
There has been a ratings war between the two shows since they started airing with an overlap a few weeks ago. The Voice was the consistent winner of the battle and Saturday's show was the first time that Britain's Got Talent had conceded defeat by moving to a later time slot. It would seem that maybe that wasn't enough for The Voice, though, as it's alleged that they decided to put the boot in anyway and failed to meet the programme cut-off point. A senior staff member at ITV told The Mirror "This is out and out dirty tricks. The BBC always say they are above this kind of thing. Clearly they are not. They are outrageous."
A source at the BBC, however, denied the allegations, saying "can they not see the irony that they manufactured the whole situation by bringing their show forward by four weeks and installing the half-hour overlap? The simple truth is the peak figures were not affected by the overlap and we won by a full one million viewers." BBC chief Danny Cohen puts the over-run down to the fact that they had to edit the shows down from the originally-intended 100 minutes, to a 90 minute show.