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2001 was a landmark year for the UK media coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championships.

For the first time the BBC were able to transmit digital text services on both terrestrial and satellite digital platforms.

But the BBC excelled themselves by buying an additional Astra Digital transponder to provide viewers, for the first time, with the ability to choose...
... from no less than 5 live matches at any one time.

At this point BBC TWO are covering the Capriati/Williams quarter-final, but at the touch of a button Astra Digital viewers could choose to watch Conchita Martinez being roundly beaten, or one of three doubles matches on the other show courts.

Once into the interactive coverage pressing the blue button on the remote brings up another menu offering two other choices
Scores and results.
Viewers to the BBC's digital terrestrial service also had access to a service of news, scores, results and statistics.

Digital cable operator ntl: were able to do a last-minute deal with the BBC to carry this service for their viewers, but it was all a last-minute scramble. The set-top-box software was only rolled out to some franchise areas days before the start of Wimbledon fortnight, and it was quite 'buggy'...

... and surprisingly slow.
But once it loaded up we actually had the choice of  four sporting information providers.
Here on BBC Sport's Wimbledon index page we find the first obvious sign of a dilemma which seems difficult to resolve. The Wimbledon logo seems to suggest that the page should be displayed with an aspect ratio of 4:3, but the picture-in-picture in the top right-hand corner is a 16:9 one.


For the sake of consistency I am obviously displaying all the screen grabs on this page in 16:9 but to an extent this is an arbitrary decision on my part.

And here a a few more screen grabs to give you a flavour of how BBC Text presents their stories and statistics.


During the process of grabbing these frames my Pace set top box hung up and had to be unplugged from the mains and rebooted before I could continue...

Here we switch to the pages provided by Teletext Ltd.

< Digital text Gallery index

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