BBC launches the world


History on 23rd September

BBC launches the world's first Ceefax teletext service.

Shepherds Bush, London The 23rd of September 1974 AD

In the internet age there is something almost quaint about Ceefax, the BBC 's information service available through the TV set. But when it was launched Ceefax was a revolution, quickly evolving from a somewhat amateur and irregular magazine style to the first place many looked - and still look - for sports results and the latest headlines.
Plans were made for the service in 1972, and tests of the technology and format carried out over the next couple of years. The germ of the idea had been to allow subtitles to be shown on request, but Ceefax developed into completely different areas as the technologists and engineers got hold of the capabilities, and journalists and broadcasters were intrigued by the immediacy it offered - Ceefax manages still to have the final scores in Saturday's football games before anyone else can provide them.
Over the years Ceefax has broken stories in sport such as managerial sackings and transfers in football. And as it is updated frequently throughout matches fans unable to be present at a vital fixture not covered on TV or Radio have been known to "watch the game on Ceefax", biting nails as scores change and relegations, promotions, or championships are decided.

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