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Channel 5 snubs Freeview HD again

Home of the Eddie Stobart docu sticks to SD

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Channel 5 is giving up on filling a Freeview HD channel, so fans of Celebrity Wedding Planner will just have to live with standard definition. Or go to Virgin or Sky for its Channel 5 HD offering.

The intention had been for an HD version of Channel 5 to fit into Freeview from April 2012, but the broadcaster has now notified Ofcom that it won't be proceeding with the application, potentially leaving the BBC with another channel to fill.

Back in 2010, Channel 5 dropped out of the bidding for the first round of Freeview HD channels, telling The Guardian that the financial markets weren't right for it to go HD but that "we remain committed to launching a HD version of Five and intend to apply for the fifth HD stream when Ofcom advertises it next year".

And Ofcom duly did offer another Freeview HD channel, in September 2011.

But it seems the financials aren't now any better than they were.

The BBC is technically out of the running for the fifth Freeview HD slot, having got two of the channels already. But it may yet end up with the space, and will then have to decide what to do with the channel, perhaps filling it with coverage of the Olympics or trying to sell it to Channel 4.

Given the government's absolute belief that we're all crying out for six new HD channels at 600MHz, not to mention desperate to watch local TV, one has to wonder why an existing HD channel isn't more desirable - surely it's not possible that we have enough television already? ®

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