RIP Teletext: Jan, 1993 to Jan, 2010

TV news text service to go after 17 years service.

Come January 2010 the text news service Teletext, which is currently accessible through ITV, Channel 4 and Five, will become unavailable.

Mike Stewart, the group managing director, blamed the “fragmentation of television audiences and the boom in online use for news” as having eroded Teletext’s readers and made it increasingly unviable – adding that the service had made a loss for the last three years.

Freeview channel Teletext Holiday’s will continue to air, while the company’s various online assets will also continue. Teletext’s operator, Daily Mail and General Trust, aimed some blame at Ofcom, which had announced that the operator could lose its public service license after 2014, but given the service had been loss making for three years already it seems a half-hearted explanation. Ultimately, it appears to be another struggling business that’s fallen victim of the recession.

So, Teletext, will it be missed? Many will have fond memories of the service, particularly Mr. Biffo’s (aka Paul Rose) Digitizer gaming column, which ran between 1993 and 2003. However, in this digital age, its relevance has been increasingly dubious.

Will you miss Teletext? Let us know in the comments.

The Guardian

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