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BBC announces partial Red Button reprieve

BBC announces partial Red Button reprieve
10th October 2020 Ian Streets

The BBC has announced that it has reversed its decision to bring an end to its Red Button TV text services.
The corporation had planned to remove the service due to “financial pressure” but has suspended the plan following a campaign on behalf of people with disabilities, the elderly and those without online access.
The BBC said basic key news services will now remain, although the platform will be reduced from next year.
The original decision to remove the text and data element of the red button service was announced in November 2019 but in January the corporation halted the planned closure, in order to learn about the potential impact on certain parts of its audience.
In a blog, Dan Taylor-Watt, director of product for BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds, wrote: “Since then, we have been in contact and had extensive dialogue with a wide range of representative groups to build on our existing research into what elements of the service are most used and valued by different groups.
“We have listened to this feedback – and I’m pleased to let you know that we have found a way to keep the most valued text and data elements of the red button service.”
“I would like to thank everyone who has got in touch to let us know what they value about the red button text service – and hope you continue enjoying using it.”
Mr Taylor-Watt said local, national and international news will now remain on the red button, along with the sports news headlines, fixtures and results; and weather forecast.
He added that from mid-2021 features including the lottery results and in-depth sport stories will no longer feature as the BBC aims to “reduce cost and complexity elsewhere”.
Red Button video streams though, for the likes of Wimbledon and Glastonbury, will remain in place.

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