ASSOCIATED Newspapers said yesterday that it will shut down its loss-making Teletext analogue television service in January 2010, two years ahead of schedule, because the economic downturn has accelerated a fall in audiences and revenue.
The company, owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), added it will also pull the plug on a number of its digital television text services from the same date.
Teletext – which was once the only way to access instant news and weather reports, football results and film listings – has been hit by the growth of the internet and audience fragmentation away from the free-to-air channels on which it is broadcast.
But it said that some commercial services, including its holidays service, would continue to be broadcast on digital channels. Travel sites Teletex Holidays, This is Travel and Villa Renters will also stay in operation.
DMGT said that industry regulator Ofcom had also played a role in its decision to terminate the service, after it indicated that Teletext would lose its public service license in 2014, and would therefore have to pay for the signal needed to carry it.
DMGT said that up to 70 jobs could be lost at Teletext as a result of the changes.