New features for BBC Connected Red Button

BBC-Connected-Red-Button-GlasThe BBC has announced new functionality on its Connected Red Button service to bring it in line with other versions of the service.

Initially introduced on Virgin Media cable, is planned to add Connected Red Button to smart TVs before the end of the year.

Ahead of coverage of a number of major events this summer, a new promotional panel has been added to the left of the main screen containing prominent links to additional BBC coverage of live action, events and programmes.

The new feature links the traditional Red Button service – which has seen its linear streams reduced in recent months – with the connected world. For the first time Virgin TiVo subscribers will be able to access additional content by pressing Red.

This weekend the BBC is running additional coverage of the live tennis at Wimbledon, live stage action and highlights from BBC at Glastonbury and the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. Each of these events will be available to watch over this weekend via the promotions panel.

“Our target launch date for this new release was early June and with good reason. Our challenge was to ensure that our viewers had access to as much of the BBC’s coverage during this fantastic summer of live sporting and music events as possible,” said Jennifer Lyons, product manager for Connected Red Button in BBC TV and Mobile Platforms, Future Media. “Since our launch in December 2012 we have continually tested our Connected Red Button service with our audience and gathered feedback. The results consistently told us that the ability to watch more live events and ‘press red’ for more programme related content was at the top of our audience’s wish list”.

The BBC has been working to gain some parity with the traditional red button enjoyed by viewers of Freeview, Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media. The viewers already have the additional content via the Red Button such as Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Final Score and Dragons’ Den extra footage; unsurprisingly this has  also been requested by the high-end Virgin TiVo customers.