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Update on BBC red button text changes

Matthew Postgate

Chief Technology and Product Officer

Last November, I blogged about changes we planned to make to our interactive services on TVs – including text and data-based information on the red button.

The BBC has a number of financial pressures and challenges which mean we must think carefully about what we can afford to do. It means we have to make difficult decisions and can’t carry on offering everything we have in the past, as we need to re-direct resources towards new and better ways for people to experience BBC content across all our platforms. 

Since then, a number of you have got in touch including organisations - particularly those representing the elderly and people with disabilities - who feel that they would be particularly negatively impacted by the removal of the text and data-based elements of the red button service.

We want to take a little longer to explore these issues in more depth, so we’ll keep red button text available on TVs as close as possible to its current state for the time being while we do this. 

We want to understand more about the possible impact the closure of this service would have, particularly on the elderly and people with disabilities. We will listen carefully and with an open mind to the views which have been expressed. And we will be talking to representative groups and gathering evidence from them.

We will look at all this, along with other evidence, and make a fresh decision in the Spring. I’ll update you again then.

Thanks for reading.

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