BBC pulls plug on world's oldest teletext service

Oct 24, 2012

BBC Ceefax, the world's first teletext service, ceased transmission on Tuesday after delivering 38 years of up-to-the-minute news and sports updates to the British public.

Olympic champion Mary Peters brought the curtain down on the service when she turned off the last analogue in Northern Ireland at 23.30 local time (2230GMT) as part of the country's switch to .

Former prime minister John Major said Ceefax would be "much missed".

"At moments of high pressure—with little time for detailed examination of the news—Ceefax headlines offered an instant window on the world," he said.

"From breaking global news to domestic sports news, Ceefax was speedy, accurate and indispensable," he added. "It can be proud of its record."

The Plain English Campaign honoured the service with a lifetime achievement award for its "clarity" and use of "everyday words".

Ceefax was launched on 23 September 1974 and promised BBC viewers the latest news headlines, sports scores, weather forecast and TV listings in the pre-internet era.

Its aim was to give viewers real-time access to the information coming into the newsroom.

At its peak in the 1990s, the service boasted 20 million viewers who checked the service at least once a week.

It was particularly popular with sports fans, enabling them to keep tabs on the latest score in multiple fixtures.

Olympic hero Sebastian Coe said Ceefax had been "an invaluable news service for every sports fan over the last 38 years.

"I have checked in on many a sports news story, track and field triumph and, of course, Chelsea results!"

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iran conducting cyber-war with BBC: broadcaster

Mar 14, 2012

Iran launched a "sophisticated cyber-attack" in an attempt to disrupt the BBC's Persian service, which is watched by over seven million viewers weekly, the broadcaster's chief was to claim Wednesday.

AOL in health, sports, real estate content deals

Jan 14, 2011

(AP) -- AOL Inc. said Thursday that it will get health, sports and real estate content from three outside companies: Sports news site operator Sporting News, health site operator Everyday Health and real estate listings ...

New software shows British TV live on iPhone

Nov 10, 2009

British broadcaster Sky launched an iPhone application Tuesday which allows viewers to watch live TV on the move and is thought to be the first commercial TV service backed by the broadcaster itself.

Recommended for you

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

3 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a wearable life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists ...

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

4 hours ago

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles ...

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

4 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

4 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.