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bbc conncected red button

The BBC's long-running Red Button service could be for the chop, it has emerged, as the corporation considers how and where to make £150 million of cuts.

The service has been the main gateway to additional BBC content since it took over from Ceefax in 2012. It provides access to additional streams during big events like Wimbledon and Glastonbury, as well as during Formula One races.

The Beeb is also facing a £35 million cut to its sports rights.

The £150 million of savings will be in the following areas. £50 million will be saved by having fewer divisions and senior managers and fewer layers between the top and bottom of the organisation. £35 million will go from the sports rights budget.

It will save £20 million from long-term contracts and other costs too.

£16 million will be saved by cutting distribution costs, axing the Red Button service (via a "phased exit") and from other savings from BBC Online.

£12 million will be slashed from the TV budget – drama is safe, but the factual, comedy and entertainment divisions all face cuts. £12 million will be cut from BBC Online, and £5 million from BBC News.

This is all because of the 'iPlayer loophole' – the fact that people can avoid paying the licence fee just by watching BBC programmes on catch-up through iPlayer.

This has hurt the BBC's revenue. The government has said it will close this loophole, but nevertheless, the BBC will announce another £550 million of cuts in the spring.

"The BBC has and is doing everything possible to make sure the impact on the public is minimised," said BBC director general Tony Hall.

"Wherever possible we're targeting savings by creating a simpler, leaner, BBC.

"But cuts to budgets for programmes and services are unavoidable. No director general wants to announce reduced spending on services that the public love.

"This is very tough, but the BBC's financial position means there is no alternative."



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