Saturday, July 18, 2009

UK: The teletext service, begun in 1974, will be shut down

[it portal] Teletext has announced that it will kill its television news and information services in January 2010 after acknowledging that the internet has managed to make the once popular website obsolete.

The owners of Teletext, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), issued a statement saying that the current economic conditions and the growth in the use of the internet were amongst the numerous reasons behind the closure of the service.

The first further added that "As anticipated, the continued fragmentation of television audiences and the growth in the use of the internet has resulted in a significant reduction in the audience and volume of commercial activity generated by the television services."

Teletext, which was originally called Oracle, was launched on ITV in 1974 and went head to head against BBC's own Ceefax. Teletext still attracts on average 12 million users a week, more than twice BBC's audience for Ceefax.

The latter will take over from Teletext until the digital switchover is completed, after which text based services for television will be quietly shuttered. DMGT will maintain the lucrative Teletext Holidays website and TV channel. Teletext is currently available on ITV, Channel Four and Five for free.

35-year Old Teletext To Disappear By 2010

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