BBC Launches Connected Red Button


WEBWIRE – Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The BBC has launched Connected Red Button, reinventing the BBC’s hugely popular red button service for the future by effortlessly bringing TV, radio and online content together in the simplest possible way. The service will launch first on Virgin Media’s TiVo® service as part of the innovation partnership* agreed between the two organisations to create next-generation TV experiences. BBC Connected Red Button will be rolled out to other internet-connected TVs over the coming months.

BBC Connected Red Button enables you to:

· Watch programmes from BBC children’s channels, BBC Three and BBC Four anytime - day or night – even if the channel is off-air

· Effortlessly catch up on previous episodes of the shows you love and discover new gems

· Get closer to the latest sporting action, with more streams, clips and content from your favourite events

· Immerse yourself in news and weather headlines and clips that matter to you, when you want them, all at the touch of a button

BBC Connected Red Button arrives in around 1.2 million Virgin Media TiVo homes today and will be available on other internet-connected TVs over the coming months. With new functionality and features added to the service over time, Connected Red Button will redefine how audiences watch, engage and interact with BBC content on their TV.

The BBC has over 13 years of experience developing and evolving its red button services, which have brought viewers closer to the action at major events like Glastonbury, Wimbledon and Formula 1. BBC Red Button now attracts an audience of 20 million per month, peaking during this summer’s Olympic Games, where 24.2million viewers watched up to 24 live streams via the red button.

With predictions that by the end of 2016 there will be almost 22 million connectable TVs installed in the UK, and that over 50% of UK TV households will have a connectable primary set - either directly or via a set top box **, BBC Connected Red Button will give viewers even more reason to connect their TV and provide a platform to make BBC TV, radio and online content more interactive and engaging in the future.

Daniel Danker, General Manager, BBC Programmes and On-Demand, said: “With today’s launch of BBC Connected Red Button, the BBC is seamlessly bringing the Internet together with live TV, while making the technology completely invisible. This is red button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television.”

Victoria Jaye, Head of IPTV & TV Online Content, said: “With BBC Connected Red Button, we’re starting with the TV audience who love our broadcast output and we’re curating online content on the big screen in ways that add value to their TV viewing. The audience can sit back and relax – the internet just made TV better.”

Cindy Rose, Virgin Media Executive Director of Digital Entertainment, said: “The BBC understands as passionately as we do how important connected television is for home entertainment. We’re delighted the BBC is working with us to launch another milestone in interactive services. Our commitment to this partnership of innovation means Virgin Media TiVo customers are the first to experience the latest interactive services at the press of a button.”

Notes to Editors

* The partnership between Virgin Media and the BBC has already delivered full integration of BBC iPlayer into Virgin Media’s TiVo Service. BBC catch-up programmes are, as a result, even easier to access through the search, menus, and EPG, made possible by the openness and flexibility of the TiVo platform. More information on the partnership here

** Source: 3 Reasons LLP, Autumn 2012. This number projects sets technically capable of connection; numbers of actual connected sets will be lower, depending on broadband penetration, consumer behaviour etc.

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.

The company’s cable network – the result of a multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband connections to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 100Mb, and is being expanded to reach thousands more people across the country.

Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of UK households.

Virgin Media also operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED).



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