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BBC digital text service cuts back on content for children

Content for children on the BBC Red Button digital text service on Freeview is to be scaled back at the end of April.

Various material from CBeebies and CBBC are being removed from the original version of the BBC's text service in favour of the BBC website, where the content will continue to be available.

CBeebies says that it will be also be removing the games that are currently available. It's referring users to the CBeebies website and Playtime app, reflecting the fact that children are increasingly turning to tablets and other connected devices for entertainment and learning.

Whereas ten years ago, the Red Button service was the primary way for the BBC to offer extra, interactive content to viewers, the prevalence of broadband and mobile internet has shifted supplementary content to the web. Some of the BBC's web content can continue to be accessed on regular TVs, thanks to the BBC's connected red button service, Red Button+.

Red Button+  replaces the original text service on compatible devices with content derived from the internet, including the BBC iPlayer and content from CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News and BBC Sport. Red Button+ is available on newer smart TVs and set-top-boxes, including those supporting YouView and Freeview Play.

On Freesat, where the new Red Button+ service is carried on all so-called second generation Freesat (Freetime) boxes, the original version of Red Button digital text is scaled back, with notably less content than Freeview, with the service focusing on news, business, sport and weather pages.


  1. Inevitable. A few gaps still to be plugged in the new red button service though, notably the Travel content and more detail on the Lottery results.

    Also credit to the BBC and Humax for unrolling it out on the Fox T2 model. That was an unexpected surprise last weekend. The uPlayer has always been available through the TV Portal, along with the news and sport app, but until the rollout of Red Button+ last week not directly through the BBC channels.

    1. I own an HDR Fox T2 but noticed no change. What have I missed? What has rolled out on it?


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