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Based in London
Broadcast area National
Launched 1 January 1993
Replaced ORACLE
Owned by DMGT

Teletext Ltd was the provider of teletext and digital interactive services for ITV, Channel 4 and Five in the United Kingdom.



Teletext Ltd started providing teletext services for ITV and Channel 4 on 1 January 1993, replacing the previous ORACLE service which had lost the franchise. Recently Teletext Ltd has continued its role of offering text services by investing in new digital text services (similar to BBC Red Button) for the channels it serves on digital television services.


The company is now owned by Daily Mail and General Trust's Associated Northcliffe Digital. Its main source of income is from revenue companies, mainly in the UK travel sector, who pay in order to advertise on its services on ITV, Channel 4, Sky and digital television as well as the website


On 21 January 2009, Ofcom reported that "The increasing availability of text based services, both broadcast and online may mean that post 2014 there is no longer clear justification for continued intervention to maintain a public service teletext licence."[1][2]

On 16 July 2009, DMGT announced that due to competition from the Internet, current economic conditions and Ofcom's findings, the service would cease broadcasting most of its services on analogue and digital television, with the exception of the commercial services broadcast on Freeview channels 101-107 such as Teletext Holidays and the firm's profitable travel websites. in January 2010,[3][4] with the switch off date subsequently brought forward to 14 December 2009 (Sky Digital) and 15 December 2009 ( analogue TV, Freesat and Freeview).[5][6]

Teletext's news and information service were removed from: ITV, Channel 4 and Five on analogue TV; ITV and Channel 4 on Sky Digital; ITV, Channel 4 and channel 100 on Freeview; editorial on Teletext Extra on Freeview; editorial on ch 986 on Freesat. In addition, the Racing and Bookmakers section is continuing. Viewers on Channel 4 analogue TV and Freeview. Viewers on Channel 4 on Sky Digital will also get the service in analogue form in due course, while the section is also due to be added to Freesat. The GameCentral section is continuing online at

Other teletext services

In spite of the name, Teletext Ltd was far from the first Teletext service in the UK, and nor is it the only one still in existence. The BBC (who were the original developers of the teletext system) launched their own Ceefax service in 1974, the same year that Teletext's predecessor, ORACLE also appeared.

FourText, originally called 4-Tel, was first run in conjunction with ORACLE, as an auxiliary teletext provider for Channel 4 from 1982. 4-Tel occupied pages 410-499 within ORACLE's page space. When ORACLE lost its licence and was replaced by Teletext Ltd in 1993, 4-Tel moved to its own page space on pages 300-399. Channel 4 enlisted Intelfax to run the service. In 2002, 4-Tel was renamed FourText. In addition, FourText also launched on digital television. In 2003, Channel 4 ended their contract with Intelfax and contracted out the service to Teletext Ltd.[7] The new service was named Teletext on 4 and operated on pages 400-499 (which replaced pages 300-399 as Channel 4's page space).

Ceefax continues to run on BBC analogue channels to this day.

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review". Ofcom. 2009-01-21.  
  2. ^ "Teletext's public service remit at risk". The Guardian. 2009-01-23.  
  3. ^ "REG-Daily Mail & General: Re Teletext". Daily Mail and General Trust. 2009-07-16.  
  4. ^ "Teletext to shut down in 2010". Digital Spy. 2009-07-16.  
  5. ^ "About Teletext". Retrieved 2009-11-24.  
  6. ^ "Teletext to close mid-December". BBC. 2009-12-15.  
  7. ^ "Teletext and C4 sign text services deal". Daily Mail and General Trust. 2003-07-01.  


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