Ofcom has announced it has made a provisional decision to reserve an HD slot for Five to provide new services on Freeview from 2010.

Ofcom’s final decision to award a HD licence to Five is subject to it resolving certain key criteria related to its application by the end of 2009.

Five’s licence is the result of a tender process which attracted two bids from Channel 5 and Channel 4 and S4C. According to Ofcom, Five’s application initially involves simulcasting its main public services channel programmes at peak time on HD. This means that Five programmes such as The Gadget Show, UEFA Europa League, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, children’s show ‘Milkshake’ and movie premiers could become available in HD from late 2010, say the regulator.

Ofcom state that in the future, Five predicts sharing its HD channel with another broadcaster during daytime hours and supplying other services such as Video on Demand in HD overnight.

In addition to Five, Freeview slots have been reserved for ITV—together with UTV, stv and Channel TV—while the other has gone jointly to Channel 4 and S4C.

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