Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 14:44 UK

Teletext to switch off in January

The Teletext news and information service on analogue channels will end in January next year, two years ahead of schedule, its owner has announced.

The service will close early owing to "current economic conditions", said Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT).

Teletext services are broadcast on the UK's free-to-air commercial channels - ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

Some digital services will also halt, but holiday services on Freeview and other commercial pages will remain.

Travel sites Teletextholidays.co.uk, Thisistravel.co.uk and Villarenters.co.uk will also stay in operation.

Falling audiences

All Teletext's news and information services - both on analogue and digital - will cease in January 2010, putting 70 jobs at risk at the unit's base in Chiswick, west London.

"The continued fragmentation of television audiences and the growth in the use of the internet has resulted in a significant reduction in the audience and volume of commercial activity generated by the television services," DMGT said.

The move was also blamed on industry regulator Ofcom, which had indicated Teletext could lose its public service licence after 2014 - which would mean that Teletext would have to pay for the signal that carries its text-based news service.

DGMT said: "This has also contributed to the decision to discontinue the public service."



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