Teletext to close news and information service

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The Independent Online

Teletext's news and information service is to come to an end in January next year - two years ahead of schedule - the service's owner said today.

Associated Newspapers, a division of Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), said it had decided to close its loss-making analogue Teletext service early as a result of "current economic conditions".

The group, which had intended to shut the service in 2012, said the closure decision followed indications from regulator Ofcom that it would not back state intervention to support the continuation of a public commercial Teletext service after 2014.

"As anticipated, the continued fragmentation of television audiences and the growth in the use of the internet has resulted in a significant reduction in the audience and volume of commercial activity generated by the television services," the firm said.

It went on: "In addition, Ofcom has indicated that it is not persuaded of the need for public intervention in the delivery of a public commercial Teletext service beyond 2014 and this has also contributed to the decision to discontinue the public service.

"Current economic conditions have accelerated this process, leading to today's announcement."

A spokesman for DMGT said all Teletext's news and information services - both on analogue and digital - would cease in January 2010.

However, its holiday service on Freeview and other commercial services will continue to broadcast.

In addition its profitable travel sites will continue to operate.

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