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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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Saturday, 12 December 2015
5:55 PM

I was 'hounded' although I'd changed my licence on line as soon as I moved. TV Licensing kept sending letters addressed to me at my old address saying that they had no record of said property being licensed. Of course they didn't, I'd moved. When I e-mailed them, they, quite incredibly, told me that they found they got a better response if they wrote to a named person! So someone would open the previous owner's mail bearing TV Licensing branding and get themselves a licence?Since these letters can be used as supporting documents in identity theft I pointed out to TV Licensing that I'd hold them responsible and sue for all costs plus generous compensation should my identity be stolen. They responded immediately and said no further correspondence would be sent to me at my old address.

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Peter's 14 posts US flag
Sunday, 13 December 2015
Tony Hill

7:14 PM

I am an ardent recorder of data (!) and, amongst other things, I have been recording our TV viewing by channel. If of interest, in the BBC debate, our viewing (live plus time-shifted) by channel families (ie ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 count as "ITV") averaged over the period (Jan 2011 to date in 2015) is:

BBC 65% -- ITV 13% --Ch4 13% -- Five 6% -- Other (S4C for Welsh football, Lifestyle channel, etc) 3%

with BBC2 = 27% and BBC4 = 16%.

So, Licence Fee looks good to me!
PS: We are not Sky subscribers, as you can deduce - and watch mainly on Freesat

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Tony Hill's 65 posts GB flag
Monday, 14 December 2015
Nick Anderson

10:34 AM

The problem with abolishing the Red Button service is that people with non-connected to internet Tvs (at present the majority) may have their computer in a separate room to their TV and it would be a considerable inconvenience for them to move rooms simply to access a service directly connected to a program they are watching.

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Nick Anderson's 157 posts GB flag
John Slater
2:25 PM

Typical of a large organisation... Get rid of something useful and keep something that sucks cash and adds very little. I am referring in the first instance to the Red Button service (snooker, athletics, etc). How about instead getting rid of multiple 'experts' talking over events we should be watching? Why do we need a presenter + 4 experts to tell us...what exactly?... while we are missing athletics clearly going on in the stadium behind them? One presenter and one 'expert' is ample and they can talk, if necessary, while we watch the sport!

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John Slater's 4 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 December 2015

6:29 PM

Nick Anderson: The problem for the BBC is probably that not enough of us are using the Red Button services, useful as they are to many. At 15m a year, it would be interesting to see how much that costs per person per year per use. I have used it for things like The Proms and Springwatch, but as the number of tablets, mobiles, etc have grown, and the people using the service has not, there is a point when its no longer worth doing.

Of course the BBC is in this position in the first place because of the need to pay for over 75's licence fees, etc. If they keep the service, savings have to found elsewhere, and if they drop it, people will complain. They can't win.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 13 February 2016
mike rogers
3:28 PM

i cant get i player they seem to think everyone has hi speed broadband, plus that my internet has limit on my downloads so couldnt use it anyway but i do use the red button a lot, they disregard us ordinary viewers, as do many organisations who say things about use our webpage no every person has internet at all .

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mike rogers's 2 posts IT flag
Monday, 21 March 2016
Steve Ferguson
12:29 AM

Real pity about the red button, I use it everyday, so will really miss it.

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Steve Ferguson's 2 posts FI flag
Sunday, 10 April 2016
5:45 AM

I think the bbc should keep the red button I like useing it what do we pay a tv licence for there all ready got rid of bbc 3 and moved it online what next

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Daniel's 2 posts GB flag
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Peter Macdonald
1:45 PM

Absolutely disgraceful if this goes ahead.

I use the Red Button service daily, if it goes I won't bother with BBC full stop and might well just dump my TV when my present licence expires!

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Peter Macdonald's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 15 May 2016

2:34 AM

terrible shame to cut this

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nicholas's 120 posts GB flag
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