Ofcom has announced it will currently not be reserving an HD slot for Channel 5 on Freeview. In June 2009, Ofcom made a provisional decision to reserve a HD slot for Channel 5 to provide new services on Freeview from 2010. This decision was subject to it resolving certain key criteria by the end of 2009. In Ofcom's final decision published today (15 March) the regulator stated that Channel 5 had not been able to resolve the outstanding issues.
The only other applicants for the HD slot, Channel 4 and S4C, were unable to provide Ofcom with confirmation of their ability to launch a service within a defined timescale.
Ofcom has therefore decided not to reserve capacity for either of the applicants at this time.
Any capacity within Multiplex B that is not reserved by Ofcom is available for the BBC to use. This brings forward by around two years the date when it was anticipated that further capacity on Multiplex B would revert to the control of the BBC Trust.
Ofcom said it intends to give the Commercial Public Service Broadcasters another opportunity to apply to provide an additional HD service from 2012 next year.
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