FIVE slot on BBC multiplex confirmed - again
Something UK Free TV has know about for several years now, appears as "news" on MediaGuardian.co.uk
In Channel Five signs deal with BBC to extend rural reach via Freeview - Media - guardian.co.uk the site reports that FIVE will be on Multiplex B in switched-over areas.
Five's main network will be broadcast on the BBC's Freeview Multiplex B when switchover begins in the Border region - covering Cumbria and the Scottish borders - next month.
This means that Five shows such as CSI, House and Australian soaps Neighbours and Home and Away will be available as widely in rural areas around the country on Freeview as the other four public service broadcasting networks - BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and Channel 4.
This deal with the BBC should allay fears about a lack of reach for Five on Freeview.
The BBC confirmed this fact to UK FREE TV over three years ago, and Ofcom mentioned in the last consultation: The Future of Digital Terrestrial Television - Ofcom, dated 21 November 2007:
"1.38 Our specific proposals are that the majority of the BBC services should move from Multiplex B to Multiplex 1, and one BBC video service should move from Multiplex B to Multiplex 2. Capacity should also be made available on Multiplex 2 for: one video service in each of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and for Five, which should move to a PSB multiplex (it is presently carried on a commercial multiplex) in order to ensure universal access to this service from DSO.
1.39 The effect of these proposals will be to ensure that sufficient capacity is available for all PSB services on Multiplexes 1 and 2 but that their capacity will be used more intensively than it is now. S4C, the Gaelic Digital Service (GDS), and TG4 will each be available on a PSB multiplex in, respectively, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland (subject to any other agreements or consents required); and Five will be available to 98.5% of the UK population via DTT."
I note with interest that this information has been on UK Free since January 2006, on Freeview Lite? - ukfree.tv - independent digital television and switchover advice, since 2002.
More catch-ups: Five inks deal with BBC to extend reach