BBC Unveils its Red-Button Interactive TV Schedule for July 3rd through 16th
The BBC has announced the line-up of content that will be available through its red-button interactive TV service, July 3rd through 16th:
- For the first time in its eight-season history, the entrepreneurs-pitch-VC's reality TV program, "Dragon's Den," will offer a supplemental show via the red button. According to the BBC, the red-button show will feature behind-the-scenes footage and insights from the show's five "Dragons" (VC's), and will enable viewers to "find out why the Dragons chose to invest, and discover how the entrepreneurs feel once they've escaped the rigors of their trial by fire." The show will be available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview on July 17th, 9:55PM-4:00AM, and on July 19th, 12:15AM-4:00AM. (Note: This Red-Button service will not be available through the UK's free-to-air satellite TV platform, Freesat.)
- During the BBC's broadcast of the annual First Night of the Proms concert (July 16th, 8:00-9:30PM), Sky, Virgin and Freeview viewers will be able to press red to "hear a unique insight into the evening's works as three orchestral players provide a live commentary on the music." (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
- The BBC plans to use the red button to provide extensive coverage of Scotland's annual T in the Park music festival. The coverage will kick off on Sky, Virgin and Freeview on July 9th (6:00PM-2:00AM). On July 10th (11:00AM-2:00AM) and 11th (3:30PM-2:00AM), Sky and Virgin viewers will have up to four streams of coverage, complete with audio options and rolling highlights. Freeview viewers will be able to access one stream of coverage, which will be available on July 10th, 2:40-7:20PM and 8:35-2:00AM, and on July 11th, 4:40-6:20PM and 10:15-2:00AM. Post-festival highlights will be available through the red button from 7:00AM, July 12th through midnight, July 18th. In addition, the BBC says, "viewers of the two-hour BBC Two highlights show starting at 11.05PM on Friday 16th can also enjoy an extended mix of festival highlights on red button, with Sky and Virgin viewers offered a choice of four video streams with full sets from many of the bands on the program." (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
- To mark the return of the comedy series, "That Mitchell and Webb Look," the BBC is offering a range of supplemental sketches through the red button. The sketches, collectively entitled "That Mitchell and Webb Look Extra," will be available on Sky on July 13th (9:25PM-4:00AM), 14th (9:00PM-4:00AM) and 15th (9:00PM-4:00AM); and on Virgin and Freeview on July 13th (9:25-10:00PM). (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
- On July 4th and 11th (11:00AM-12:00PM), Sky and Virgin viewers will be able to press red to access live video of the Radio 5 Live show, "Alan Davies' Armchair World Cup." (Note: Not available on Freeview or Freesat.)
- Sky, Virgin and Freeview viewers will be able to press red to access video highlights of the BBC Radio 2 show, "Weekend Wogan." The highlights will be available on Sky from 6:00AM, July 5th through 4:00AM, July 7th, and from 6:00AM, July 12th through 4:00AM, July 14th; on Virgin from 6:00AM, July 5th through 4:00AM, July 7th, and from 6:00AM, July 12th through 8:55PM, July 13th; and on Freeview from 6:00AM, July 5th through 6:50PM, July 6th, and from 6:00AM-6:50PM on July 12th and 13th. (Note: Not available on Freesat.)
- During the July 3rd broadcast of the show, "The National Lottery: In It to Win It," Sky and Freeview viewers will be able to press red to pit their wits against studio contestants. (Note: Not available on Virgin or Freesat.)
- Sky and Freeview viewers of the BBC's preschooler digital channel, CBeebies, can press red to access interactive TV games based on "In the Night Garden," "The Green Balloon Club" and other CBeebies shows. The offerings available to viewers on each of the two platforms are slightly different from each other--which, the BBC says "has enabled us to offer the best games tailored to each system." (Note: Not available on Virgin or Freesat.)
- During the July 8th and 15th broadcasts of the BBC One political panel talk show, "Question Time," viewers on all the UK's four main digital platforms 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, Sky and Virgin viewers can press red to access "Video Choice" 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...," or by "OddBox," a show described by the BBC as "a round-up of the week's weird and wonderful videos." (Note: Not available on Freeview or Freesat.)
- During the Wimbledon tennis championship, digital viewers can press red to access up to six live matches (note: when there is coverage on BBC One and BBC Two, Freeview viewers can access up to four matches), a highlights service, and replays of top matches. During the finals, they can also enjoy a choice of BBC commentary or a courtside no-commentary option, the corporation says. The live coverage will be available July 3rd and 4th, 12:50PM-9:00PM. The highlights service (which is not available on Freeview) will be available July 3rd and 4th, 10:00PM-6:00AM, and from 6:00AM, July 5th through 8:00PM, July 7th. In addition, a digital text service offers news, results and scores.
- For the 2010 World Cup, the BBC says, digital viewers "will have access to interactive coverage during live games, including alternative commentaries and rolling highlights. Availability of features varies depending on the digital TV provider, but they will include the following: Live coverage of BBC matches, which feature alternative commentary options, including Radio 5 Live and Radio 1 stars Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave. There will also be full replays of selected matches. Highlights from all matches will be available after the final whistle and there'll also be rolling highlights and goal clips for people to easily catch up on the main action. Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers can also see a dedicated news channel, updated daily with reports, news from Motty's World Cup and other features." Details of BBC Red Button's live World Cup coverage can be found here. World Cup highlights coverage, meanwhile, will be available on Sky, Virgin and Freesat July 3rd, 6:00AM-1:00PM and 9:00PM-1:00PM (4th); from 9:00PM, July 4th through 7:00PM, July 6th; from 6:00AM, July 7th through 2:30PM, July 10th; July 11th, 6:00AM-6:30PM; from 10:00PM, July 11th through 8:00PM, July 13th; and from 6:00AM, July 14th through 6:00AM, July 17th. Freeview viewers will be able to access highlights coverage 11:00PM-midnight, July 3rd and 4th; 6:00-9:45AM, July 10th; and 6:00AM-12:10PM, July 11th.
- In addition, Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers will be able to press red to access 1) the World Cup edition of the show, "Football Focus" (July 3rd, 12:30-1:00PM); and 2) the show, "World Cup Extra" (8:30AM, July 12th through 8:00PM, July 13th; and 8:30AM-8:00PM, July 14th and 15th). (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
- In the run-up to the British Grand Prix, Formula One motor racing fans on all the UK's four main digital platforms will be able to press red to access coverage of all on-track sessions, including Friday and Saturday practice and qualifying sessions. They will also be able to access re-runs of classic Grands Prix. Then, during the race itself, they will be able to access a choice of three streams featuring split-screen in-car camera feeds, leaderboards and rolling highlights, with the option of listening to either network or BBC Radio 5 Live commentary. Finally, after the race has been run, digital viewers will be able to access a post-race analysis show, and, the BBC says, highlights will probably also be available the following day. (Note: red-button coverage of the British Grand Prix begins on July 9th.)
- From 11:50AM to 3:05PM on July 3rd, digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of the MotoGP qualifying session from Catalunya. Then, from 9:50AM to 12:05PM on July 4th, they can press red to access live coverage of the MotoGP 125 and Moto 2 races from the same venue.
- On 12:45 to 9:00PM on July 3rd, 8th and 12th, Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers will be able to press red to access BBC Radio 5 Live's commentary on the Cricket One Day Internationals, complete with scores, stats and photos. (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
- On July 11th, 9:45-11:15AM and 12:30-2:30PM (note: the second session will not be available on Freeview), digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of World Cup rowing from Lucerne.
- On July 3rd (9:00-11:00PM), 8th (7:00-9:00PM) and 16th (7:00-9:00PM), digital viewers can press red to access live coverage of Diamond League Athletics. (Note: This red-button service will not be available on Freeview on July 16th.)
- From 6:30 to 8:30PM on July 8th and 9th, Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers can press red to access delayed coverage of golf's Scottish Open. (Note: Not available on Freeview.)
- On July 14th (4:00-6:00PM), 15th (9:00AM-8:00PM) and 16th (9:00AM-8:00PM), Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers will be able to access coverage of the British Open Golf Championship, including a leaderboard, holes 9-11 and highlights. Freeview viewers, meanwhile, will be able to access a leaderboard. Sky, Virgin and Freesat viewers will also be able to press red to access highlights on July 15th (8:00PM-6:00AM) and 16th (8:00PM-6:00AM). 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.