BBC to switch off Red Button text service in 2020
The BBC is to switch off the news and sport text services on the TV red button early next year.
The decision spells the end of reading headlines, football scores, weather, travel news and more on TV sets, 45 years after the launch of Ceefax.
Red button text launched in 1999, taking over as Ceefax was phased out.
TVs will still be able to access other red button services, like picking a stage to watch at Glastonbury or a court to watch at Wimbledon.
“From early 2020, viewers will no longer be able to access text-based BBC News and BBC Sport content by pressing red,” a BBC spokesperson said.
“It’s always a difficult decision to reduce services, and we don’t take decisions like this lightly, but we have taken it because we have to balance the resources needed to maintain and develop this service with the need to update our systems to give people even better internet-based services.
“Viewers can still access this information on the BBC website, BBC News and Sport mobile apps – as well as 24-hour news on the BBC News Channel.”
However, it’s not a complete end to use of the red button as connected TVs will still be able to access other red button services.
There will still be the option to pick different streams to watch, such as choosing a stage at Glastonbury to see or which tennis court to view at Wimbledon.
With the red button gone, the BBC are encouraging users to head to the individual websites for their specific content.
The decision spells the end of text-based BBC News and BBC Sport content on the box, 45 years after the launch of Ceefax.
Red button was first available in September 1999 under the name of BBC Text but was relaunched in November 2001 as BBCi.
It faced another change of name in late 2008 to BBC Red Button and update again to BBC Red Button+ in 2015.
The BBC Red Button Twitter account is now closed and has not been tweeting since March this year.
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