The channel slot is set to create a multimillion-pound bidding war between different broadcasters. The reason for this is Freeview is now the UK’s most popular digital TV platform.
Ofcom’s Digital Television Update for Q2 2008 revealed that there are 16.7 million Freeview homes in the UK, boosted by sales of more than two million DTT set-top boxes or integrated digital TV sets.
The other reason is that unlike cable and satellite, channel slots on Freeview are scarce because of a lack of bandwidth on digital terrestrial TV.
Arqiva, which operates two of the six multiplexes (known as muxing, a term used to refer to a process where multiple digital data streams are combined into one signal over a shared medium) that make up Freeview, said the new channel would be available for use by February. The deadline for bids is 22nd October.
I believe Freeview is definitely the future of digital television as we are already seeing, with the arrival of Freeview+, allowing viewers to do exactly what Sky+ does but for free, means it holds strong grounds in the digital tv battleground.