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BBC Trust Finds Red Button Service Underperforms

A BBC Trust review has found that the BBC Red Button needs to have its distribution costs reduced and work to increase its audience reach.

The review, which was initiated by the Trust in 2009, found that although the Red Button had a large user base, it had a smaller reach than other BBC services and its distribution costs were very high.

BBC Trustee, Diane Coyle, who led the review, said in a statement: “The Trust will therefore look to the BBC Executive to reduce costs when and where possible by focusing on the aspects of the service that are most successful to date.”

“The Trust notes the Executive's statements on the future role for Red Button in the delivery of IPTV and will monitor this as the IPTV market develops,” she added.

However, no clear path for using the Red Button on an IPTV platform has yet been charted.

The BBC Red Button allows users to access news stories, weather details, sports results and entertainment content, by pressing the red button on the remote control.

The service, which is accessible to cable, satellite and freeview users, had received 14.7 million users in Summer 2010 during Glastonbury and Wimbledon.