Text on 3 and 4 closes down

C4 Teletext via satellite - close down message
The last remaining text pages on ITV and Channel 4 via Freeview, plus old style teletext on Channel 4 on satellite have been switched off today.

It is thought to be the first time since the mid to late 1970s that ITV has broadcast without an accompanying text service.

The final pages were taken off air following the end of licencing agreements with ITV and Channel 4 understood to have been put in place following the revocation of Teletext Ltd's public teletext licence in 2010.

History
Although the exact launch date of the teletext service on ITV is not clear, by 1978 Oracle had developed a substantial service, which continued to grow into the 1980s when it also appeared on Channel 4 (S4C in Wales).

After fighting to keep the Teletext licence in the 1991 ITV franchise round, Oracle lost out to Teletext Ltd, who took over the provision of a public service teletext on ITV and Channel 4 on the 1st January 1993.

The Daily Mail Group owned service was made available on Freeview in later years in addition to analogue TV, but at the end of 2009 the main editorial service was axed on all platforms, leaving just a shell of a service consisting mostly of advertising, plus racing information on Channel 4. At the time, Teletext Ltd cited 'increased competition from the internet' and 'current economic conditions' as reasons why the service had to close. Ofcom revoked the Teletext licence in early 2010 as a response to the closure of the news and information pages.

In October 2012, the Teletext brand was removed from the legacy service on ITV and Channel 4 via Freeview, where it continued simply as "Text on ITV" and "Text on 4". The old style blue Teletext header remained on Channel 4 (see image above).

The popular Teletext Holidays section continues online and on some smart TV platforms, while "Holidays TV" caters for Freeview viewers on channel 201. Various dating spin-off services continue on Freeview channels 202 - 204.

Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are not affected by the close down - on digital TV these are transmitted independently from the teletext service.

updated: 19:30 07/01/2013
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