There’s been a set-back in the plans for a new Freeview HD channel.
Back in 2010, Channel 5 was planning to launch its HD channel on Freeview, but decided that it didn’t want to launch after all – Instead, the channel went to the BBC for its second HD channel.
The licence for the fifth HD slot was advertised in 2011 by the UK regulator OfCom. At the start of November 2011, we reported that in the bidding for the fifth HD channel on the Freeview platform, only one channel submitted a bid, and that was Channel 5. In theory, that could have meant that 5 HD could have been on-air in 2012.
Well, Channel 5 has decided (again) that it doesn’t want to launch its HD channel on Freeview after all. They’ve now decided to drop their plans for Channel 5 HD on Freeview, citing “issues of commercial importance”.
This is now the second time that Channel 5 has dropped plans for an HD service on Freeview, despite Channel 5 HD being available on Sky and Virgin, although apparently Channel 5 has been quoted as saying that it is still committed to launching an HD service on Freeview in the future.
Watch this space to see if OfCom will re-offer the licence for any other broadcaster, or even for Channel 5 to have another go.