Ofcom invites applications for a 5th HD slot on Freeview

UK regulator Ofcom is inviting applications from commercial public service broadcasters for a 5th HD slot on the Freeview DTT platform. The new HD channel will join the existing four HD channels, BBC HD, BBC One HD, ITV1 HD and 4HD. Applications must be submitted by the 17th October, with Ofcom expecting the new channel to ready to launch by the 1st April 2012.
The cost of the new licence will be based on a percentage of the winning broadcaster’s qualifying revenue.
The announcement follows the release of a report from the licence holder BBC Free to View that Multiplex B, which uses DVB-T2 transmissions coded using MPEG-4 (H.264 AVC), could support an additional HD channel by the end of the year.
Main sources: Telecompaper and Broadband TV News
Item added: 5th September 2011