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Expanded Red Button service arrives ahead of summer of music and sport

In time for a summer of music and sport, the BBC has added extra Red Button streams on Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media, with even more coverage available via the BBC's connected TV and mobile services.

After weeks of testing, viewers can now select the extra BBC Red Button streams on satellite and cable services. On Sky and Freesat, the expanded service is available from channel 980. On Virgin Media, the service starts on channel 990. The service will begin with extra coverage from Glastonbury this week, followed by coverage from Wimbledon next week.

In total, there are six standard definition Red Button streams and one HD stream for cable and satellite users. These streams can be recorded like a conventional TV channel. An additional service, BBC RB 0 will go live later this summer for the Rio Olympics.

On Freeview and YouView, all Red Button services have been on the EPG for a while, ready to be activated this summer.  The number of Red Button services available depends on the type of equipment used. All viewers have access to BBC RB 1 on channel 601, but viewers with DVB-T2 compatible equipment (i.e. Freeview HD, Freeview Play, YouView, EE TV boxes) will see BBC RB 2 and 3 on channels 602 and 603. The BBC hasn't specifically indicated when these two streams will go live again. An additional channel, BBC RB 0 is confirmed to be on standby for the Rio Olympics, when BBC Parliament will be taken off air to make extra room.

For viewers with connected TV devices or smart TV sticks/dongles, the BBC will make additional streams available via its online services:
  • Via BBC Red Button+ on compatible smart TVs, YouView, Freesat Freetime and Virgin TiVo, viewers will be able to watch additional coverage from Glastonbury, Wimbledon and the Olympics on top of the coverage via the traditional Red Button streams.
  • Additional coverage from Wimbledon and the Olympics will be available via the BBC Sport App so that users of the likes of Roku, Chromecast or Amazon Fire can access all the action.

And on the BBC iPlayer, viewers can seek out "Live Events", a function designed to provide access to additional live coverage not shown on the traditional BBC TV channels. The BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet apps were recently updated to cater for the additional coverage this summer, allowing users with compatible devices to keep up with the latest action on the go.

BBC Red Button - channel number guide