BBC Television News is 50 years old today and by way of marking the changing way of delivery news over that period, they have announced ‘Ten O’Clock News Extra’. When it is launched in autumn (fall) this year, viewers will explore additional material about individual news items – giving further depth to the story.
Currently with a fixed length news programme and a pressure to cover the world’s news, much material that has already been shot and edited is not used. The Extra version of the programme will make use of the material, whether it be interviews, footage or further background and make it available via the interactive TV Red button.
The supplementary content, which will be provided by the Ten O’Clock News team, will be made available for 45 minutes from 10pm. The BBC plan to have up to three items covered more thoroughly.
Head of BBC News Interactive, Richard Deverell, says: “This is a hugely exciting innovation for BBC News. It is the world’s first interactive daily TV news bulletin and will help viewers understand the top news stories by providing extra background information in a visually rich and engaging format.”
When the news programme starts, the extra information will be made available to the viewer via the Red button. When it is requested, the broadcast news video screen will shrink into the top left of the Extra template (Picture in picture). The viewer will be able to switch audio channels enabling them to continue to monitor the main news programme while exploring the additional information such as maps, profiles, etc. There will be one additional video stream that will loop over the 45 mins.
Two-Way TV will be providing and integrating the systems to the BBC, to enable them to publish the chosen content automatically to three platforms simultaneously, Freeview (DTT), Cable and Sky.
The Two-Way system works in conjunction with the BBC’s own internal News system. The BBC News team will be providing the additional editorial resources to select and publish the information. The Two-way system then converts the chosen content to be displayed on each of the platforms, attempting to make the content appear as similar as possible across the whole range, despite the wide range of abilities of the STB’s. Two-way have also provided the three front-end application, essentially display templates, that are downloaded to the three STB platforms.
Both the BBC and TwoWay are holding this up as an example of how the BBC working with outsourced partners, following the Graf Report on the BBC’s online service, which said the BBC should farm out at least 25% of new media work. This project has been in development since April/May this year, when the BBC went to tender looking for development partners.