Channel 4 has secured licences for two channels, Channel 4+1 HD and 4seven HD.
Licences for both of the high definition catch-up channels were awarded by Ofcom last month, though no indication has been given yet as to when or where they’ll launch first.
A Channel 4 spokespeople only said that the company has secured the licenses for TV ‘to ensure we have optionality for potential future developments,’ and declined to tell us any more.
Freeview’s boss Isle Howling wants 10 more HD channels on Freeview by 2014, and the BBC has already announced plans to launch five new HD channels, so there would be room for Channel 4 to get its two channels in there.
Naturally, any changes to the digital terrestrial programme guide would mean that those with YouView, TalkTalk TV or BT Vision would be able to get the channels too.
Broadcast capacity would be less of a problem for Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media, but naturally discussions about rights and where the channels would appear on the programme guides would have to happen.
Channel 4+1 is available on Freeview, YouView, Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media. 4seven, which repeats a selection of the most popular Channel 4 shows, launched last year and is available across the same platforms.
As well as giving viewers a couple of catch-up channels, 4oD is also available to most UK viewers. It’s available on a handful of connected Freeview HD boxes and smart TVs. 4oD comes baked into YouView and Free Time from Freesat. Earlier this year it finally arrived in Sky’s On Demand library, while Virgin Media customers have been able to enjoy 4oD since 2007.