The BBC has confirmed it will be reducing the number of Red Button streams on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media from five to one stream, bringing it in line with their Freeview offer.
In November 2010, the BBC Trust Red Button Service Review highlighted the high cost of delivering content on multiple video streams. The BBC’s Delivering Quality First proposals, published in October 2011, outlined plans to reduce the number of red button video streams from five to one after the Olympics to reduce costs.

This was approved and published by the BBC Trust in May 2012. Announcing the changes in a blog post, Tom Williams, Development Editor for Red Button and dual screen at BBC Vision, stressed the ongoing importance of the Red Button: “The BBC is committed to maintaining a vibrant and popular red button service. 20 million people a month press red on the BBC and our ambition is to develop the service and increase the size of our audience.

“BBC Red Button will continue to support a wide range of television and radio output, from big events like Wimbledon and Glastonbury to more niche offerings such as triathlon or BBC Four’s archive collections.”
The changes to BBC Red Button streams will come into effect on 15 October.

As a result of the reduction in video streams, content previously on red button will be available on BBC Online. The BBC is also planning a Connected Red Button for launch later this year which will bring selected Red Button and BBC Online content together on Connected TVs.

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By Expat