BTV News (also referred to as the BTV News Channel) is BTV's 24-hour rolling news TV channel in the United Kingdom. The channel was launched on the 9th of October of 1997 @ 5:30 PM GMT (12:30 PM ET) as part of BTV's foray into digital domestic TV channels. Since then, with several relaunches, an increase in funding & resources from BTV & improvements in digital TV technology, the channel has been able to diversify content, with 2-minute looped bulletins available to view via the BTV Red Button, BTV News Online & BTV's mobile website, alongside individual weather & sport bulletins. In April of 2008, the channel was refreshed & relaunched as part of a £550,000 rebranding of BTV's news output, complete with a new studio & presentation. It's sister services, BTV World was also renamed as "BTV World News" while the national news bulletins became BTV News @ 1:00, BTV News @ 6:00 & BTV News @ 10:00.
As a major part of the BTV News department, the channel is based @ & broadcast from the NewsCentre within the BTV Centre in Downtown London. The channel was named RTS NewsChannel of the Year in 2006 & again in 2009
BTV News was originally available only to analogue cable TV subscribers. To this day, it & BTV News+ remains as the only BTV "digital" channels which are made available to analogue cable subscribers. This coverage was improved in 1998 with the advent of digital TV in the United Kingdom allowing satellite & digital terrestrial TV viewers to also view the service. Initially it was difficult to obtain a digital satellite or terrestrial receiver without a subscription to Sky or ONdigital respectively, but now the channel forms an important part of the Freeview package of channels.
The BTV had run the international news channel BTV World for 3 & a half years prior to the launch of BTV News on the 9th of October of 1997.
The BTV Governors' annual report for 2005/2006 reported that average audience figures for 15-minute periods had reached 8.6% in multichannel homes, up from 7.8% in 2004/2005.
On the 22nd of February of 2006, the channel was named NewsChannel of the Year @ the Royal TV Society TV Journalism Awards for the 1st time in it's history. The judges remarked that this was the year that the channel had "really come into it's own"
The 2008 RefreshEdit
On the 21st of April of 2008, BTV News was refreshed & relaunched. This is part of the creative futures plan, launched in 2006, to bring all of BTV News' output under the single brand name.
The BTV News Channel moved from the Studio N8 set (now home to BTV World News) to what was the home of the national news in Studio N6, allowing the Channel to share it's set with BTV News @ 1:00 & BTV News @ 10:00, with other bulletins moving to studio TC7
Each hour consists of headlines on each quarter hour, extended @ the top of the hour to form the main part of the daily schedule though these are interspaced with other programmes, generally @ weekends. This will be often be displaced by rolling news coverage including reports & LIVE interviews. Weather summaries are provided every half hour by forecasters from the BTV WeatherCentre while business & sport updates are also presented generally from within the main studio
BTV maintains guidelines for procedures to be taken for BREAKING NEWS. With domestic news, the correspondent 1st records a "generic minute" summary (for use by all stations & channels) & then priority is to report on the BTV News Channel & on any other programmes that are on air.
A new feature was introduced with the 2003 relaunch was a 'BREAKING NEWS sting': a globe shown briefly onscreen to direct a viewer's attention to the BREAKING NEWS.
The graphics relaunch in January of 2007 has since seen the globe sting replaced by a red strapline to highlight the breaking story immediately.
To complement this, a permanent LIVE news ticker had earlier been introduced in 2006: this had only previously been in use sporadically. News statements are shown as continuously-scrolling upper-case text located @ the bottom of the screen; some past ambiguities noted have included spelling the plural of MP's as "MPS", together with other occasional spelling & grammatical errors. The design of this ticker was slightly altered with the 2007 graphics redesign & from June, turned red to indicate BREAKING NEWS, as Opinions on BTV News reported the viewers' confusion
Overnight & special simulcastsEdit
BTV began simulcasting the channel overnight on terrestrial channel BTV 1 with the launch of the channel, ending the tradition of a closedown but @ the same time, effectively making the service available to many more viewers. In the early 2000's, BTV 2 also started simulcasting the channel, although the weekend morning show Weekend BTV had been simulcast on the channel in the early days. During major BREAKING NEWS events, the BTV News Channel has been broadcast on BTV 1. Examples of special broadcasts include the 11th of September of 2001 attacks, the 7th of July of 2005 London bombings & the capture of Saddam Hussein. Coverage of major events has also been simulcast on BTV World News
Simulcast BTV 1 programmesEdit
Since the launch of BTV Breakfast in 1995, the programme has been simulcast on both BTV 1 & BTV News, replacing the individual breakfast news programmes that had been run by both channels. Since May of 2006, the simulcast begins with the programme @ 6:00-8:30 AM GMT (1:00-3:30 AM ET) when programming on BTV News begins. Breakfast on BTV 1 then generally continues until 9:15 AM GMT (4:15 AM ET).
BTV News @ 10:00 began simulcasting on the channel on the 30th of January of 2006 as part of The BTV 10:00 Newshour, followed by extended sport & business news updates. The bulletin was joined in being simulcast on the 10th of April of 2006 when BTV News @ 1:00 (with British Sign Language in-vision signing) & BTV News @ 6:00 bulletins were added to the schedule following a similar format to the News @ 10:00 in terms of content on the channel once each simulcast ends.
During the Summer, the hour-long programme BTV News Sunday is broadcast both on BTV 1 & the BTV News Channel @ 9:00 AM (4:00 AM ET). It's presented by a newspresenter & comes from the main News channel studio. The programme is made up mostly of interviews focusing on current affairs & includes a full paper review, a weather summary & news updates @ 9:00 AM GMT (4:00 AM ET), 9:30 AM GMT (4:30 AM ET) & 10:00 AM GMT (5:00 AM ET)
Other programming produced solely by the BTV News channel includes BTV News @ 5:00, Sportsday (@ 6:45 PM GMT (1:45 PM ET), except on Friday & Saturdays when it's @ 6:30 PM GMT (1:30 PM ET) + @ 10:30 PM GMT (5:30 PM ET) every weekday) & Opinions on BTV News (Fridays @ 8:45 PM GMT (3:45 PM ET) & Saturdays @ 7:45 AM GMT (2:45 AM ET)).
Programmes including, The BIG Issues, Our BTV World & Our BTV Reporters appear regularly in the weekend schedules. Many of these programmes also appear throughout the week on BTV News' sister channel, BTV World News.
Previous BTV News programming includes Your BTV News & BTV News TONIGHT, a regular weekday evening programme providing a round up of the days news which ran from 2005-2008
Between 1:00-6:00 UK Time (GMT) (8:00 PM-1:00 AM ET), the channel simulcasts with it's sister channel, BTV World News for the 1st 25 minutes of each hour with world news shown all through the simulcasts. Non-World programmes air generally on the half hour, notably ABC's World News TONIGHT @ 1:30 AM GMT (8:30 PM ET). Since the 21st of April of 2008, the overnight bulletins, while produced by the BTV News Channel has usually been broadcast from the studios of BTV World News.
On the 1st of October of 2007, BTV World News started broadcasting BTV World News America & BTV World News Today @ 12:00 AM (7:00 PM ET) & 3:00 AM GMT (10:00 PM ET), respectively. BTV World News Today is simulcast on the BTV News channel while BTV World News America, airs a delayed version @ 12:30 AM GMT (7:30 PM ET).
BTV World News & BTV's World Business airs @ 5:00 AM GMT (12:00 AM ET) on both channels & in lieu of commercials seen on the international broadcasts, the presenters give a brief update on UK news for domestic audiences
Sports bulletins are usually @ :45 minutes past the hour, with headlines @ :15 minutes past the hour. There are also 2 extended sports bulletins per day, entitled 'Sportsday' broadcast @ 6:45 PM GMT (1:45 PM ET) (6:30 PM GMT (1:30 PM ET) on Fridays & Saturdays) & @ 10:30 PM GMT (5:30 PM ET; weekdays only). Each bulletin is read by a single sports presenter, with the exception of Saturday Sportsday, which is double headed
An hourly business update is included during the weekday schedule from BTV's Business Unit during BTV Breakfast & through the morning until BTV News @ 1:00 & then, more updates later on in the day. These updates are usually broadcast @ :40 minutes past the hour from 8:40 AM GMT (3:40 AM ET) until 10:40 PM GMT (5:40 PM ET). The final bulletin is an extended roundup of the day's business news.
From Tuesday the 26th of May of 2009, the morning business updates were presented from the main BTV Breakfast & BTV News studio sets, rather than the outside broadcast from the studio @ the City of London. The reason for this change is not known
Graphics & titles were developed by the Lambie-Nairn design agency & were gradually rolled out across the whole of BTV News. The similarity of the main BTV News output was intended to increase the credibility of the channel as well as aiding cross channel promotion.
A graphics relaunch in January of 2007 saw the channel updated, with redesigned headline straplines, a redesigned 'Digital on-screen graphic' & a repositioned clock. The clock was originally placed to the left hand side of the channel name though following complaints that this could only be viewed in widescreen, it was moved to the right in February of 2007. Bulletins on BTV World News & on BTV 1 also introduced similar graphics & title sequences on the same day.
In 2008, the graphics were again relaunched, using the style introduced in 2007 & a new colour scheme
The Lambert reportEdit
The Lambert Report into the channel's performance in 2002 called upon BTV News to develop a better brand of it's own, to allow viewers to differentiate between itself & similar channels such as BTV News+. As a direct result of this, a brand new style across all presentation for the channel was launched on Monday the 8th of December of 2003 @ 9:00 AM GMT (4:00 AM ET). The relaunch of which had been put back a week due to previous power disruptions @ BTV Centre, where the channel is based. The new designs also featured a dynamic set of titles for the channel & the globe would begin spinning from where the main story was taking place, while the headline scrolled around in a ribbon. This was occasionally replaced by the BTV News logo.
Bulletins on BTV 1 adopted the style later in February of 2004, despite moving into a new set in January of 2003, but retaining the previous ivory Lambie-Nairn titles. BTV News updated the title colours slightly to match those of BTV 1's bulletins
An important part of the channel's presentation since launch has been the top of the hour countdown sequence, since there is no presentation system with continuity announcers so the countdown provides a link to the beginning of the next hour.
Previous styles have included a series of fictional flags set to music between 1997 & 1999 before the major relaunch, incorporating new contemporary music & graphics developed by Lambie-Nairn. Various images, originally ivory numbers fully animated against a deep red background, were designed to fit the pace of the channel. Images of life around the UK were added in replacement later with the same music, together with footage of the newsroom & the exterior of BTV Centre. The 2003 relaunch saw a small change to this style with less of a metropolitan feel to the footage.
A brand new version was introduced on the 28th of March of 2005. The full version runs for 60 seconds, though only around 30 seconds are shown on air. The music was revised completely but the biggest change came in the footage used, it now reflects the methods & the nature of newsgathering, while a strong emphasis is placed on the BTV logo itself. Satellite dishes are shown transmitting & receiving red "data streams". In production of the countdown sequence, BTV News cameramen filmed images around the United Kingdom & the United States, as well from Iraq, Beijing (Great Wall of China), Bund of Shanghai & Africa, as well as areas affected by the 2004 Asian Tsunami & others.
The sequence has since seen several remixes to the music & a change in visuals to focus more on the well-known journalists, with less footage of camera crews & production teams. Changes have also seen the channel logo included during the sequences & @ the end, as well as the fonts used for the time. The conclusion of the countdown was altered in 2008 to feature the new presentation style, rather than a data stream moving in towards the camera.
An international version of the countdown was launched on BTV World News on the 5th of September of 2005 featuring more international content & similar music. Various changes have been made to the music & visuals since then, with presentation following the style of BTV News.
The visuals in the sequence were updated in 2008