No one should be bamboozled by death of Teletext
Shock news yesterday that the plug will be pulled on the mighty Teletex service at the end of year.
Who would have thought having a news service broadcast in the shape of a screen full of text, the occasional block graphic and even different coloured fonts would ever look tired?
And this is a service in which consumers are in control. Simply type in the page number you wish to look at, wait a couple of minutes for the numbers to come around again, and er voila – the next page of text. Incredible.
Apparently the tough decision to stop broadcasting this prehistoric service was only made after “a comprehensive review of the business by the senior management”.
Teletext owner DMGT attributed poor financial performances, in part, to “the government’s meagre allocation of broadcast capacity for the public Teletext service in the 1996 Broadcating Act”.
Interesting. I would have thought the birth of the internet might have played its part in killing-off the near-static 15 year old text pages?
When Teletext launched in 1993 there were no 24 hour news channels, websites or free TV listings. Its mix of news, sport and weather, accompanied by TV schedules, quizzes and games was widely celebrated.
At its peak it attracted more than 20 million adults per week and was a highly lucrative multimillion pound business. That’s 20 million.
But in a new digital world, cheap holiday deals could only take it so far – in fact this service is being siphoned off and will still be available on Freeview.
Its version of rolling news is painfully out of step. The biggest loss come December will be the passing of Bamboozle.