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Goodbye BBC Red Button!

The BBC is going to make saving this year of £150m because people are disconnecting their TV tuners and using the iPlayer online.

BBC Red Button to be cut off  Photograph: unknown
BBC Red Button to be cut off Photograph: unknown
published on UK Free TV

Too many people have been Cord Cutting...

Details have emerged today[1] of the current cuts to BBC services that will be made to save £150m from the BBC's budget – you might have had a go yourself at predicting the nature of the cuts.

From the £201.0m annual cost of BBC Online, iPlayer and Red Button budget, the £16m spent of Red Button will stop and £12m will be cut from BBC online. 

Another £35m will cut Sports rights,  £12m from the TV services, £5m from BBC News.

£50m more will be about 1,000 job cuts and £20m from long-term contracts.

This still leaves another £513m or so to be cut each year by 2020 to deal with the BBC taking on the social sending of free TV licences for the over-75s, something the governing parties manifesto promised to provide.

Will you miss the Red Button or is a relic from the pre-internet era? 


[1]  BBC unveils £50m cut to sport and TV under savings plan

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

6:25 PM

Absolutely agree with you Bill; why should we expect to watch all the BBC programs for nothing; somebody has to pay for them or they will dwindle away to nothing. I blame it on the rules which allow you to 'Cord cut'. I'm not surprised that the BBC is acting as it is, it's the only way to protect it's interests and it would be sad to see a lot of their content removed from iPlayer, which is very useful for those programs that we've missed.

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MikeG's 31 posts GB flag
Peter Newlands
6:26 PM

I was a daily user until it stopped functioning for me some weeks ago.

Sony, my digi box maker, suggested that the 'problem' has affected many manufacturers boxes for some while. Has the BBC already stopped the service?

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Peter Newlands's 8 posts GB flag

9:36 PM

Bill: Totally agree as well. If your using it, then pay for it. At 40p a day, its not exactly pricey, either.

The only reason people can get away with it is because when Iplayer was released (again, a service which the BBC pioneered), nobody thought that people were going to dodge the column, and so the legislation didn't cover it. Time the government delivered on their promise to close the loophole.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Monday, 23 November 2015
David Smith
8:04 AM

I would be very disappointed to lose the red button service from the BBC, I am sure most people would be prepared to pay alittle more for their TV licence to keep the service.

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David Smith's 2 posts GB flag
Nick Anderson

3:31 PM

I think the retention of the red button is important for two reasons. Firstly it is an extra channel for the simultaneous showing of different events in sports coverage and also in the case of the London Marathon when 3 separate events are currently shown using the red button option. Secondly some people do not keep their computer in the same room as their TV and it is an inconvenience to use their laptop or TV to see an event relating to the program currently being screened in their living room.

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Nick Anderson's 147 posts GB flag
David F
7:17 PM

Red Button - as in teletext can probably go - I like being able to quickly check news headlines, weather etc. - but I can use a laptop or tablet.
Red Button - as the one/three "channels" available for non-scheduled broadcasting ("Other" matches at Wimbledon, other events at Athletics meetings, Discussion Programs (Forums) as after F1, Rugby (when the BBC had it!) seem to be quite a cost effective form of added value.
That said they do not seem to make much use of the "channels" - perhaps they should before abandoning them?

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David F's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 24 November 2015

7:49 PM

If I stop paying SKY 40 a month for TV do you think they will still let me use the SKY player APP. Of course they won't so why should we think that it's okay to do the same for Iplayer.

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Jpurkis's 82 posts GB flag
Thursday, 26 November 2015
Tony Hill

4:49 PM

I will certainly miss the Teletext aspect of the Red Button. I check racing results and stockmarket/currencies data every night and this is done as a "communal exercise" - with my wife and I looking at the info at the same time. As I bet on horses (not large amounts) I don't look at the results until the evening when there is joint excitement (not huge but enjoyable) as we look at the results. This is not possible with the unfriendly "loner" use of a tablet or laptop.I could think of much better ways for the BBC to save money.As for watching LIVE programming via iPlayer on a computer, etc this is, as everybody has said, a complete nonsense and a con for all proper licence-payers, and should be stopped immediately.

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Tony Hill's 65 posts US flag
Friday, 27 November 2015
Dave Hagen
8:37 PM

Dave Smith. I would rather they got rid of a few managers for example Alan Yentob than put the licence fee.

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Dave Hagen's 5 posts GB flag
Saturday, 28 November 2015
9:10 AM

Bill: I quote from the BBC itself...

When you don't need a TV licence

You do not need a TV licence to catch-up on television programmes in BBC iPlayer.
When you do need a TV licence

You need a TV Licence if you watch or record programmes live programmes. That means watching or recording at the same time (or virtually the same time) as they're being broadcast, or distributed to the public in any other way. In BBC iPlayer, you do this using the Watch Live (simulcast) option. Anyone in the UK watching or recording television as it's being broadcast or simulcast on any device including mobiles, laptops and PCs must, by law, be covered by a valid TV licence.

As a general rule, if you're watching a programme on a computer or other device at the same time as it's being shown on TV, then the programme is live so you need a TV licence. If you use the live rewind function to restart a live programme or rewind a live stream for up to 2 hours, you also need a TV licence. This is because you're still accessing the live simulcasts. Most UK households will already be covered by an existing TV licence for their main TV set.
What will happen if I don't have a TV licence?

It is a criminal offence to watch live television without a TV licence. It's also a criminal offence to possess or control a device which you know or reasonably believe will be used to watch live TV without a TV licence. You could be prosecuted and fined up to 1000 (plus legal costs) for these offences.
Where can I buy a TV licence or get more details?

To buy a TV licence or get more info about licensing requirements, call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6071 or visit Official TV Licensing website - Home

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David's 20 posts GB flag
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