Channel 5 takes Freeview HD slot
17.51 Europe/London, November 1, 2011 By Julian Clover

Channel 5 has been granted permission by Ofcom to launch its high definition channel on Freeview HD.

The broadcaster, owned by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, was unopposed in its application for the terrestrial platform’s fifth HD slot when the window closed on October 17.

“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.