March 15, 2010

Five fails to secure Freeview HD capacity

Don't hold your breath waiting for Five HD on any platform. From OFCOM:
Ofcom has today published its final decision on the reservation of capacity on Multiplex B for an additional High Definition (HD) service on Digital Terrestrial TV. 
In June 2009, Ofcom made a provisional decision to reserve a HD slot for Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd to provide new services on Freeview from 2010. This decision was subject to it resolving certain key criteria by the end of 2009.
Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd has not been able to resolve these outstanding issues. The only other applicants, 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. The BBC will now consider options to ensure the capacity can be used to provide High Definition services that will further benefit viewers of digital terrestrial television. 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.


Big Red said...

Shame on Five HD - but looking around on other blogs it seems BBC have being looking to convert BBCHD to BBC1 and BBC2 HD channels

This result could give the BBC option to have two HD channels.

BikeNutt said...

This is a shocker for Five and you have to wonder about their long-term position as a PSB. I wonder what it was that could not be resolved?

Still, Five's loss is BBC's gain and I would welcome a second BBC channel in HD.

BikeNutt said...

Actually, the more I think about this the more I think it's a daft decision. Surely the fledgling Freeview HD service needs the maximum channel choice to be attractive to prospective customers.

Is the target audience really going to go to the expense of upgrading when all the HD service initially offers an existing Freeview customer is BBCHD (be it 1 or 2 channels), ITV1 & 4hd - both of which are simulcasts?

kgollop said...

Coming to Sky though:

Hopefully VM will be in for this too.