ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, has won a third slot on the highly successful Freeview digital TV platform. According to independent projections, Freeview will be installed in 6.1 million UK homes by the end of this year.
The new slot - the first channel added to the platform since its launch in October 2002 - was put up for auction earlier this year by Freeview consortium member Crown Castle Communications, the US monopoly that owns Britain's network of terrestrial transmission masts.
Although ITV will not confirm content plans for its new channel, word around the media parish pump says it will focus on cars, drawing on ITV's BSkyB offering Men and Motors. The value of ITV's bid for the annual licence is unknown but speculation puts it at up to £6 million ($11.3m; €8.74m).
Whoops ITV chief executive Charles Allen: "We will now build on the success of ITV2 and ITV3 [the group's other Freeview offerings] by expanding on the digital platform, where our channels perform best.
"One of our strategic objectives is to grow ITV's successful multichannel business and we are therefore delighted to have secured additional capacity on this platform."
Meantime, state-owned terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 is widely believed to have won a second new slot that will become available on Crown Castle's multiplex C as of June 1.
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff