BBC's Red Button service gets a makeover

Connected Red Button
Image caption The current news and sports service will be updated

The BBC is giving its Red Button service a makeover which it hopes will make the service fit for the next generation of internet-connected TVs.

Connected Red Button will allow viewers with internet-enabled TVs the chance to watch some channels even if they are off air and catch up with previous episodes of shows.

It will launch initially with Virgin Media's Tivo service.

Other internet-connected TV services will be added over the coming months.

The service will offer more streams and clips from sporting events as well as news and weather headlines.

Viewers will initially have access to CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Three and BBC Four.

New functions and features will also be added over time.

'Exciting future'

It is predicted that, by the end of 2016, there will be almost 22 million internet-connected TVs installed in the UK, with over half of households having a connectable TV set either directly or via set-top box.

The Red Button service was launched 13 years ago and has often proved most popular during major events such as Glastonbury, Wimbledon and Formula 1, with extra streams and clips.

Interest peaked during the summer's Olympic Games where 24.2 million viewers watched up to 24 live streams.

Daniel Danker, general manager of BBC Programmes and On-Demand said: "The BBC is seamlessly bringing the internet together with live TV, while making the technology completely invisible. This is Red Button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television."

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