BBC Blames iPlayer For the Failure of the Red Button and Fresh Spending Cuts

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

The BBC could be set to shutter its Red Button services, and it’s all down to the popularity of iPlayer. The corporation has announced £150 million worth of cuts, with sports coverage and TV production also set to be reigned in -- don't worry though, we've been assured that Strictly Come Dancing is safe.

The Red Button was meant to fill the hole left behind when the much-loved Ceefax ceased to exist, but it's never been especially popular, despite being more advanced than its predecessor. While it offers extra channels during live events, such as Wimbledon, it can be a pain to use because it's slow.

The BBC says it’s having to resort to these measures because licence fee income is dropping. More and more people are dodging the fee by watching BBC shows and coverage on demand via the iPlayer, rather than on TV (guilty). Currently, this doesn’t require the payment of licence fees, but the government has reportedly told the BBC that the situation will change in the future.

Another, larger round of cuts is expected to be announced next spring, with £550 million said to be saved.

Update: The BBC has got in touch, saying it is "Exploring a phased exit from the broadcast Red Button service and focusing our interactive TV offer on connected televisions and iPlayer.”

Image credit: Diana Susselman via Flickr

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