BBC News Multiscreen service to close

BBC NewsThe BBC are closing down the BBC News Multiscreen service that is available via the red button later this month.

The service will be removed from Sky and Virgin Media platforms permanentely on the 20th June as part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First cuts.

The Freeview version of the Multiscreen service closed down in October 2009 to make way for new Freeview services.

Click here to read more about this change at The Editors blog on the BBC website.

The rest of the BBC Red Button interactive services remain unchanged – the text offerings for BBC News, BBC Sports, etc will continue as normal.

Sky Sports red button service coming to Virgin Media

The long awaited Sky Sports red button service might be coming to Virgin Media next week.

According to the Virgin Media blog by the very reliable Media Boy we could expect to see the red button video services appearing for Virgin Media TV customers on Thursday 28th April.

The Sky Sports red button service is also expected on Virgin Media’s new Tivo service at some point in July.

The red button service will offer additional Sky Sports sports coverage (including live football), which Sky customers have been able to enjoy for some time.

Sky Sports

Olympics coverage on Freeview and Virgin Media

Freeview

The Olympics opening ceremony is this Friday on the BBC. Olympics coverage has been expanded on the Freeview platform. As previously mentioned, BBC Parliament will be used to provide an additional video feed (BBC Parliament can be used because parliament is in recess for the summer anyway). It has also now been announced the Community Channel will be off-air for the duration of the Olympics. There will be no Community Channel from the 9th to the 25th August. The space from the Community Channel will be used by the BBC to provide additional video services for the Olympics. The channel will return to air after this date in its normal timeslot. The BBC website says – “Freeview viewers will have access to at least two extra streams in addition to the offerings on BBC ONE and BBC TWO. Olympics Interactive will be a 24-hour service offering a huge choice of sports as well as a medals table, news stories and schedule. Between 0200 and 1800 BST Interactive will show the best of the day’s action, much of it live, and after that replay the major events of the day to allow viewers to catch up on any sports they may have missed”.

Virgin Media

Viewers will be able to press their red button and get up to six channels of Olympics coverage, 24 hours a day. The BBC says – “Our interactive air time will be upped from 1,000 hours of coverage at the Athens Olympics to 2,450 hours in China giving you the chance to watch uninterrupted coverage of your favourite sports”. Please note that BBC Parliament will remain on-air on the Virgin Media cable platform – it is only being taken off air on Freeview for the duration of the Olympics – not on cable or Sky.

Online

The BBC website will be providing streaming video of the Olympics. The BBC website says – “UK users of the website will be able to watch live video of all the key action. You will be able to choose from up to seven video streams showing simulcast coverage from BBC TV and BBC interactive”.

Radio

BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will be providing coverage of the Olympics – keeping you up to date with all the news and results. These BBC radio stations can be streamed on the BBC website. Other BBC radio stations will also provide Olympics news and results.

Read more about the BBC’s Olympics 2008 coverage – click here for the BBC website.

Search for Olympics programmes in the BBC What’s On guide.