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Teletext’s Content Publishing Days Are Over, Now It’s All About Commerce

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In the end, the resources required to keep publishing its much-loved content pages has proved too much. DMGT’s A+N Media is shutting down all of loss-making Teletext’s editorial operations Monday and Tuesday, after 15 years.

That means news, sport, entertainment and other content is disappearing – not just on analogue TV, but also on Freeview and Teletext.co.uk. But A+N is keeping a raft of commercial operations…

— Teletext Holidays on analogue ITV (LSE: ITV), Freeview channel 101 and at TeletextHolidays.co.uk, ThisIsTravel.co.uk, InLuxury.co.uk and VillaRenters.co.uk.
— Teletext Racing on analogue C4, Freeview and satellite and, soon, web and mobile.
— Services including dating brands Rabbit TV and One2One on Freeview channels 102-107.
— TeletextCars.co.uk
— TeletextCasino.co.uk
— And SMS football alerts service
— p888 subtitles on analogue TV

Numbers on job losses are unclear. We believe several in-house Teletext staff were facing redundancy. Not sure what this means for Teletext’s content provider, Press Association, though recent reports speculated on 50 PA job losses as a result.

DMGT accelerated a planned 2012 shut-off date to January 2010, and then hastened it further as Associated Northcliffe Digital CEO Richard Titus began looking for cost-cutting opportunities over the last few months. It citing “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 has also attributed Ofcom’s decision to stop supporting Teletext as a public TV info service from 2014 and the general switch-off of analogue TV by 2012. But the economic necessities seem to have had as much influence. Teletext losses in the year to October 4 grew £1 million from last year to £4 million. In November, Titus told paidContent:UK: “I