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Teletext licence holder fined for killing service early

Daily Mail & General Trust ordered to pay £225,000

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Media watchdog Ofcom has fined Daily Mail & General Trust £225,000 for withdrawing the Teletext TV service prematurely.

Ofcom said in a statement that DMGT, which was the holder of the public teletext service licence, had paid for the service to be covered from 2004 to 2014.

However, the company - whose half-yearly report is also out today - ditched Teletext in December last year.

Ofcom said the firm had “committed a serious breach of the obligations in the public teletext service licence such that the service was revoked”.

DMGT has been ordered by the media regulator to pay a £225,000 penalty.

The company took a £28m restructuring hit in part attributable to its decision to shutter Teletext, according to DMGT’s half-yearly report.

DMGT finance director Peter Williams told The Register that the firm took the decision to swallow the £225,000 fine rather than continue to pay for the Teletext service for another four years because it would have cost the company "a lot more" during that period.

He added that Ofcom, which knew the company planned to switch off Teletext, was "obligated" to dish out a fine but could have imposed a much higher financial penalty. ®

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