BBC Unveils its Red Button Interactive TV Schedule for the Coming Weeks

The BBC announced Wednesday the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next two weeks (and beyond). Here are the highlights:

  • For the 2009 Proms season, BBC Red Button is launching a new feature called "Maestro Cam." Over the course of five Proms concerts, the corporation says, the feature will give digital viewers who press red a "unique insight" into the art of conducting via a dedicated camera that will "capture the conductor's every intonation and flourish." The camera's feed will be complemented by commentary from Matthew Rowe, Peter Stark and Jason Lai of BBC Two's "Maestro" series, who will explain the conductor's gestures and how they are interpreted by the orchestra. Conductors who have agreed to participate in the project include Daniel Barenboim, Vasily Petrenko and Ilan Volkov. The service will be offered in conjunction with Proms 12 (July 25th, 8:00PM, BBC Two), 31 (August 8th, 7:00PM, BBC Two), 38 (August 13th, 8:00PM, BBC Four), 48 (August 21st, 7:30PM, BBC Four) and 57 (August 28th, 7:30PM, BBC Four). (Note: this red-button service will not be available on the UK's free-to-air digital satellite service, Freesat.)
  • During Saturday night broadcasts of the show, "The National Lottery: Guestimation" (showcases the UK lottery's Dream Number draw, which raises funds for a number of the venues that will be hosting events at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics), digital viewers will be able to press red to play along with contestants. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Fans of the BBC Two comedy-drama, "Taking the Flak" (follows the progress of a small African war through the eyes of journalists sending home nightly reports for the Ten O'Clock News), will be able to press red to access new material and exclusive footage from the show's location in Africa (9:00PM, July 19th; and nightly from July 22nd, starting at approximately 9:30PM--not available on Freesat).
  • On July 18th (9:35PM), 20th (9:00PM), and 21st (9:00PM), fans of the BBC Two comedy show, "That Mitchell and Webb Look," will be able to press red to see the show's stars, Robert Webb and David Mitchell, introducing new sketches, as well as new animations that have been specially commissioned for the BBC's red-button service. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • During the July 23rd broadcast of the BBC One political panel talk show, "Question Time," digital viewers will, as always, be able to view information on the show's panelists and discussion topics, as well as a selection of comments texted in by viewers, on Red Button page 155.
  • A range of enhancements are planned for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix Formula 1 auto race (weekend of July 26th): from July 24th-26th, digital viewers will be able to press red to access all on-track sessions, including Friday's and Saturday's practice and qualifying sessions; and from July 23rd-25th, they will also be able to access re-runs of classic Hungarian Grand Prix's through the red button. Then, on the race day itself (July 26th), they will be able to access 1) a choice of three streams, featuring split-screen in-car camera feeds, leaderboards and rolling highlights, 2) the option of listening to either network or BBC Radio 5 Live commentary, and 3) a post-race show. Finally, highlights will be made available through the red button on July 27th and 28th. In addition, children's channel, CBBC, will be providing youth-oriented coverage of the Grand Prix through the red button on the race day.
  • During the remainder of Ashes cricket test series between England and Australia, digital viewers will be able to press red to access live commentary from BBC Radio's Test Match team, led by Jonathan Agnew, as well as live scorecards and statistics (second test: July 16th-20th; third test: July 30th-August 3rd; fourth test: August 7th-11th; fifth test: August 20th-24th).
  • During the weekends of the Sachsenring (July 18th-19th) and Donington (July 25th-26th) MotoGP bike races, digital viewers will be able to press red to access Saturday afternoon qualifying sessions, re-runs, highlights, and a post-race show called "MotoGP Extra."
  • Supplemental live coverage of golf's 138th Open Championship (July 16th-19th) will be available through the red button via the BBC Sport Multiscreen app.
  • Live coverage of the 13th World Diving and Swimming Championships (July 21st and July 27th-August 2nd, respectively) will also be available through the red button via the BBC Sport Multiscreen app.
  • As always, a rotating selection of games, based on its programs, will be available on the CBeebies children's channel's red-button service. (Note: not available on Freesat.)