Freeview, the UK terrestrial digital platform owned by the BBC, Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB and Crown Castle Communications, has squeezed additional bandwidth from its transmission network, enabling it to provide two new channel opportunities rather than the single slot originally envisaged.
Earlier this year, US-owned Crown Castle, which monopolizes the UK's TV network of TV transmission masts, sought tenders for a single new Freeview slot.
Among the applicants were US groups Disney, Turner Broadcasting and NBC Universal - plus the UK's ITV and Channel 4. The three US applicants dropped out of the auction, leaving the UK duo to battle it out for the daily eighteen-hour slot [WAMN: 01-Mar-05].
Now, however, Crown Castle has managed to conjure a second slot out of thin air to satisfy each of the finalists whose respective annual bids are said to be in the £6 million ($11.52m; €8.65m) ballpark.
ITV4 is expected to be a revamped version of its Men and Motors Sky channel minus the bosoms and bottoms. Channel 4's offering is as yet undeclared but could include entertainment channel E4 or its much admired Film on Four brand.
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff