35-year Old Teletext To Disappear By 2010

Teletext has announced that it will kill its television news and information services in January 2010 after acknowledging that the internet has managed to make the once popular website obsolete.

The owners of Teletext, Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), issued a statement saying that the current economic conditions and the growth in the use of the internet were amongst the numerous reasons behind the closure of the service.

The first further added that "As anticipated, the continued fragmentation of television audiences and the growth in the use of the internet has resulted in a significant reduction in the audience and volume of commercial activity generated by the television services."

Teletext, which was originally called Oracle, was launched on ITV in 1974 and went head to head against BBC's own Ceefax. Teletext still attracts on average 12 million users a week, more than twice BBC's audience for Ceefax.

The latter will take over from Teletext until the digital switchover is completed, after which text based services for television will be quietly shuttered. DMGT will maintain the lucrative Teletext Holidays website and TV channel. Teletext is currently available on ITV, Channel Four and Five for free.

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Our Comments

Teletext was in the doldrums ever since the start of the internet era. We're surprised to learn that the service still had 12 million users and could not monetise their services. There's also the fact that Ofcom said that it probably would have taken Teletext's public license in 2014.

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