BBC Trust ponders future of Red Button

26 Oct 2012  |  Niall Johnson 

The BBC Trust is to review the company's online and Red Button services as part of a public consultation into its interactive offerings.

The consultation will mark the first time since 2008 that the Trust has scrutinised the online offerings and aims to examine if both services "adapted to changes in technology, media and audience behaviour". The previous examination resulted in BBC Online receiving a £53.7 million boost to its budget.

The Red Button service, which was launched in 1999 under the name BBC Text, was last reviewed in 2010 when the trust concluded it was widely used but wasn't safe from upcoming cost saving procedures.

The review will be led by BBC trustee Suzanna Taverne, who said "The BBC's digital offer is constantly evolving - last time we examined BBC Online, the now firmly-established iPlayer did not even exist - so it is particularly important to review these services regularly."

Despite being used by more than 20 million people each month, the BBC has recently reduced the number of live video streams for subscribers of Sky, Virgin or Freesat television services.

"We know that what digital achieved at the Olympic Games was just the beginning, and the BBC's online and Red Button services will become even more important in future," Taverne continued.

"I am keen for this review to ensure that these service licences are fit for purpose and give them the space to develop and innovate in order to continue meeting licence-fee payers' needs and expectations."

You can read the full article at BBC News.

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