The 'red button' has expanded the breadth and scope of what the BBC televises, particularly with sports programming. It was used extensively during this year's Olympics, giving viewers extra access to sports that were not popular enough to be seen in regular viewing. Today that scope has been broadened further by plans unveiled for the red button to now include access to the BBC on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, and has been re-branded as the BBC Connected Red Button.
"This is red button reinvented, and the beginning of the exciting future of television," the General manager of BBC programmes and On-Demand services, Daniel Danker said. He added that the move would be 'seamless'. The service will first be available to Virgin Media users with a TiVo box, before being extended to everyone. With the iPlayer readily available via the television it will mean that the channels which are normally limited in hours of viewership, BBC3, BBC4, CBBC and Cbeebies, will now be available 24 hours a day.
According to the Daily Mail the red button currently has an audience of over 20 million monthly, a figure which grew by an extra four million during the Olympics. Cindy Rose, a Virgin Media representative said, "'The BBC understands as passionately as we do how important connected television is for home entertainment. We're delighted the BBC is working with us to launch another milestone in interactive services. Our commitment to this partnership of innovation means Virgin Media TiVo customers are the first to experience the latest interactive services at the press of a button."