BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for Next Two Weeks

The BBC announced last week the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service for the next two weeks and beyond (note: this is the first time that the BBC has released its red-button schedule since announcing that it would be making significant cuts to Freeview red-button services in order to prepared for the launch of HD):

  • On November 6th, immediately following the show, "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross," which will feature an interview with singer, Robbie Williams, and performances of two tracks from his upcoming album, digital viewers will be able to press red to access an additional three tracks. The content will be available until 4:00AM the next morning, and will be repeated 8:00PM-4:00AM the next day on Sky and Virgin, and 1:50AM-4:00AM on Freeview. (Note: this red-button service is not available on the UK's free-to-air satellite platform, Freesat.)
  • Following the October 31st broadcast of the BBC One show, "Casualty," digital viewers could press red to access a special, one-off mini-episode of the show, entitled "Casualty: The Parting of the Ways." The episode, which premiered through the red button (it is also available online and on mobile), is available on Sky and Virgin continuously through November 7th. It is available on Freeview at the following times: November 2nd and 3rd--12:10AM-6:00AM; November 4th--12:10AM-6:00AM and 6:10PM-10:15PM; November 5th--6:00AM-6:50AM; and November 6th--12:10AM-6:00AM. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Through November 7th, Sky and Virgin viewers can access a 30-minute video highlights package of a concert by opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa and the BBC Symphony Orchestra that was part of the BBC's celebration of the 75th anniversary of its Maida Vale Studios. Freeview viewers can access it at the following times: November 2nd--7:00AM-12:00AM; November 3rd--7:00AM-7:20PM and 10:40PM-12.00AM; November 4th--7:00AM-2:00PM and 3:00PM-6:00PM; November 5th--7:00AM-6:20PM and 7:10PM-12:00AM; and November 6th--7:00AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-11:20PM. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Immediately after the show's Wednesday night broadcast and into the next morning (i.e. 10:25PM-5:00AM), digital viewers can press red to see the stars of the BBC Two satirical music series, "Never Mind the Buzzcocks," debating what the BBC calls "an Issue of Cultural Importance." According to the corporation, the debates to date have "revolved around the relative merits of Brian Ferry and ferries, and just who is the greatest: legendary glam-rockers Wizzard or, er, wizards." Sky and Virgin viewers can additionally access the debates through the red button on the evenings of November 2nd, 6th, 8th and 13th. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • Following each episode's broadcast, digital viewers can press red to access exclusive additional content from Armando Ianucci's political comedy, "The Thick of It." Sky and Virgin viewers can additionally access the content through the red button on the evenings of November 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th and 12th. (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • From 9:00AM-11:00AM on November 7th, digital viewers will be able to press red to watch a "visualization" of BBC Radio Five's "The Danny Baker Show." The visualization app presents viewers with video of Baker as he hosts his show, as well as text messages and pictures sent in by other viewers; access to a range of informational content, including the weekend's soccer tables, fixture lists, information on upcoming commentaries, sports news, and details of upcoming red-button content; and a range of what the BBC calls "unexpected content," including "spoof fixtures and unique animations as Danny sets up audience head-to-heads on the phone." (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • On November 5th and 12th, starting at 6:30PM, digital viewers in Scotland can press red to access uninterrupted coverage of "Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two" (note: in other areas, the show can be seen on BBC Two). (Note: not available on Freesat.)
  • From 6:00AM-7:00PM, November 9th-13th, digital viewers will be able to press red to access a video-enabled quiz based on the CBeebies mathematics-themed show, "Numberjacks." The quiz presents viewers with 10 clips, each of which is followed by a question that they can answer by pressing either the red or the blue button. According to the BBC, the app is now available for Freeview and Sky viewers from within the new CBeebies Red Button service that was profiled in an article published on itvt.com, August 31st. (Note: the "Numberjacks" red-button quiz will not be available on the UK's free-to-air digital satellite service, Freesat; and its availability on Freeview will be limited on November 11th and 13th.)
  • During the November 5th and 12th broadcasts of the BBC One political panel talk show, "Question Time," 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.
  • On weekdays, around the clock, digital viewers can press red to access Video Choice, a recently launched feature on the BBC News Multiscreen application. The feature consists of a two-minute package of highlights which is billed as featuring the day's best picture stories, and which is put together by BBC News's On Demand team. On weekends, the daily highlights package is replaced by a topical video interview, entitled "Five Minutes with..." (Note: not available on Freesat or Freeview.)
  • A range of soccer-themed programming continues to be available through the red button: on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, Sky and Virgin viewers can press red to access "Lawro's Friday Focus," a show in which commentator, Mark Lawrenson, shares his predictions for the weekend's games; from 2:30PM on Saturday afternoons and on select midweek evenings, Sky, Virgin and Freeview viewers can press red to access the soccer results show, "Final Score"; and on Sunday mornings until noon, Sky and Virgin viewers can press red to access the BBC One Football League round-up show, "The Football League Show."
  • From November 7th-9th, digital viewers will be able to press red to access coverage-- including Saturday-afternoon qualifying sessions, re-runs and highlights, as well as race day coverage and a post-race program called "MotoGP Extra"--of MotoGP racing's Valencia Grand Prix.
  • The BBC is offering extensive live and highlights coverage of Rugby's Autumn Internationals through the red button (though it warns that the coverage will have "limited availability" on Freeview). From 2:00PM on November 3rd through 6:30PM on November 6th, and from 9:00AM to 5:00PM on November 7th, digital viewers will be able to press red to access highlights from the 2008 Autumn Internationals. Then, at 5:00PM on November 7th, Sky and Virgin viewers will be able to watch live coverage of Wales vs. New Zealand through the red button, and at 7:00PM on November 13th, they will be able to watch live coverage of Wales vs. Samoa. Finally, from November 8th to the 16th, digital viewers will be able to press red to view highlights from the 2009 Autumn Internationals.
  • From 9:00AM, November 7th through 9:00PM, November 9th, digital viewers will be able to press red to access paralympic cycling coverage (note: limited coverage on Freeview). This coverage, and all the sports coverage listed above, is offered through the BBC Sport Multiscreen, a 24/7 red-button application that provides up to five screens of extra coverage as well as round-the-clock headlines.

 

Region: 
UK/Ireland