Today Ofcom published the results of their market impact analysis on the proposed BBC high definition television services and found in favour of both the proposals.
The two options, one for a 3pm-midnight service on cable and satellite, and another for a 2am-6am preview service on Freeview, found favour with Ofcoms scrutinisers.
Ofcom has a duty to judge if any proposed new BBC service will have an adverse impact on the market, and has to report on any proposals to the BBC Trust and to the public.
The limited Freeview service will run until 2012 and may be translated into a full service if Ofcom makes frequencies available for live HDTV Freeview services after switchover is complete. The overnight Freeview service will mean that the BBC Four, Parliament, BBCi 301/302 and BBC NewsInteractive services will be removed and replaced with a download schedule overnight.
Ofcom considered that a BBC HDTV service would increase the interest in HDTV services and would help sell high definition television sets, that it would help with the long-term success of Freeview, that the number of MPEG4 receivers would increase and that such a service could feed IPTV internet-television high definition systems also.
Whilst Ofcom considered that some pay TV high definition services would face completion for high definition viewing, the BBC services would strengthen the commercial rationale for other broadcasters to launch HD services.