The BBC Red Button text service lives

The BBC has confirmed that its red button text service will not be shut down. The decision to save the service from closure will be a surprise to many.

If you are used to getting your news from an app or a website you might wonder why four paragraphs on a TV screen should be so important. In truth there were some elderly and disabled people who relied on it. This is why a review of the closure was announced before the coronavirus crisis.

Still for many people the service was nothing more than the legacy of Ceefax. It would be interesting to know though how many people may still have made use of the service – perhaps flicking to text during junctions or boring moments – but who would have been in no sense disadvantaged without it.

But is there a moral to this story?

Well if closing the text service caused this row, imagine the furore if anybody suggested shutting any significant BBC radio or TV service.

The way people consume content is evolving.

But anyone who imagines linear TV and radio will not be around for a long time to come should think of this u-turn as a reality check.

Acknowledgements

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PICTURED: BBC Red Button text service index page. SUPPLIED BY: The TV Room. COPYRIGHT: BBC.

Posted by Andrew Nairn

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