Channel 5 takes Freeview HD slot

Channel 5 was the only applicant for the fifth high definition channel on Freeview HD, when the window closed on October 17. Its place on the terrestrial platform will now be evaluated by the regulator Ofcom.

“We recognise HD’s potential role in driving penetration of new improved transmission equipment and standards for the platform and thereby allowing a still wider choice of channels and services in the future. Therefore, adding Channel 5 HD to Freeview will help both to continue the work to future-proof the UK’s largest digital platform and to drive more efficient use of DTT spectrum and more viewer choice,” Channel 5 said in its application.

Although planning a simulcast of the existing station, Channel 5 said it wanted to explore with Ofcom ways of subleasing daytime capacity.

Ofcom’s previous award had been due to be made to Channel 5, then owned by RTL, but the DTT allocation committee withdrew the offer in February 2010, allowing BBC One HD to launch the following November.

Following the publication of the Delivering Quality First consultation, BBC HD is expected to become BBC Two HD.