Channel 4 and Five vie for final HD slot

By Julian Clover | February 20, 2009 | 12:27 UK

Channel 4 has submitted plans to broadcast a high definition version of its Film4 service. The 17-hour channel is looking to share the final terrestrial HD slot with its partner S4C that would contribute a four-hour children’s TV block broadcast in English and Welsh.

The two broadcasters face competition for the Ofcom-advertised capacity from Five. The RTL-owned channel is proposing a simulcast of its existing linear channel, time-slicing the capacity to allow a daytime channel sub-leased to a third party broadcaster, and an overnight push VOD service.

The previous two slots, created by a shuffling of services broadcast in Multiplex B, have been allocated to ITV and Channel 4. It could have been expected that Five, which participated in the 2006 London DTT trial, might have a clear run for the fourth slot. The BBC, whose services are being moved to make way for the new channels, also has capacity reserved for its own HD channel.