Rival TV shows may go head-to-head
BBC One's new series The Voice could go head-to-head with ITV's Britain's Got Talent for as long as 50 minutes as the launch night spat between the broadcasters stepped up a gear.
Both shows are to begin on the same night, March 24, and draft schedules exchanged by TV bosses show there will be a hefty overlap.
The BBC has already been angered by ITV1's decision to screen its popular show on the same night as The Voice's debut, nearly three weeks earlier than BGT traditionally airs.
The BBC is investing millions in its new singing show featuring star judges Will.i.am, Jessie J, Sir Tom Jones and The Script's Danny O'Donoghue.
The schedule will be finalised on Wednesday, but latest plans put The Voice with a 7pm start, while Britain's Got Talent is due to begin at 7.30pm.
Both shows have already moved 15 minutes earlier than they were originally pencilled to start. First the BBC went earlier in the evening, to reduce the overlap, but then ITV apparently followed suit.
Last week when the clash emerged, BBC sources accused their rivals of competitive scheduling. But ITV insiders responded by saying that a clash was entirely foreseeable if the BBC wanted to launch its show in the spring when BGT has aired for the past four years.
The Voice - in which wannabes perform blind auditions for the judges who will become their "coaches" - is due to be on air for 80 minutes during its launch show.
Britain's Got Talent will kick off with a show which lasts until 8.45pm.