BBC to Announce Red Button Closure

red buttonThe BBC is expected to announce that it is to close its Red Button services as part of £150m of cuts.

Red Button replaced BBC Ceefax and offers extra channels during events such as Wimbledon and Glastonbury.

A £35m cut is also expected to be made to sports rights.

The BBC has already lost the rights to the Open Golf Tournament and while no event has been officially earmarked, it could throw doubt on the corporation’s coverage of sports such as F1 racing.

It is also understood £12m will be cut from TV but BBC drama and shows such as Strictly Come Dancing will be protected from the savings.

The cuts also include 1,000 job losses, which were announced in July.

The BBC says the savings are a consequence of a drop in the licence fee income because of what it calls the “iPlayer loophole”, that is people switching to watching BBC services only on “catch up” via the iPlayer which does not currently require payment of the licence fee.

The BBC says it has received assurances from the government that this “loophole” will be closed.

A further £550m of savings are due to be announced in spring 2016.

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