Freeview HD has confirmed its channel line-up at last, and while we’ve heard for months that the BBC and ITV had grabbed spaces in the HD-through-an-aerial service’s spectrum, along with Channel 4, the final details might pack a few surprises yet.
Freeview says Freeview HD will launch with the BBC HD channel, ITV HD and 4 HD, as well as Welsh language channel Clirlun. But that’s just the beginning.
Freeview’s Chief Executive Ilse Howling confirmed at a packed London press conference this morning that there are still two more slots to be filled in Freeview HD’s line-up.
“There will be two more channels, sooner rather than later” she said, and while confirmation of those in the bidding for the space wasn’t forthcoming, Howling later said “I think we know it won’t be coming from Channel 4.
Freeview Chairman Caroline Thompson added: “Five was supposed to be coming, but has now decided it can’t. That fourth slot has now been given to the BBC. We’re hoping to have a fourth channel by the end of the year.”
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It’s still unclear, however, whether the BBC will operate a fourth channel or lease the space to another broadcaster, with Thompson, also the Chief Operating Officer of the BBC, explaining simply that the possible uses for the fourth slot were still being investigated.
“It might be a BBC channel, it might not. We’re looking into it,” she said.
And the fifth channel? Freeview gave no indication which broadcaster would fill it in the short term, but Howling claimed that “if you ask Five when they think they’ll be on, they’ll say the end of 2012,” so we can safely cross it off our betting sheets.
What do you reckon? Is there a non-Channel 4 station you’re itching to see on Freeview HD? Let us know in the comments section below.
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