BBC to launch five new HD channels in 2014: BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC [update]

The BBC has announced that it will be launching five new high-definition TV channels in the UK in 2014. New HD versions of BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, and kids' channels CBeebies and CBBC will join the existing BBC One HD and BBC Two HD in its line-up.

It was revealed earlier today that Ofcom has awarded the allocation of new HD multiplexes for digital terrestrial television to transmission specialist Arqiva, and that the BBC had expressed an interest in taking up some of the 600MHz bandwidth freed after the UK's digital television switchover was completed at the end of 2012.

Up to 10 new HD channels could launch in 2014 because of the extra bandwidth, and it seems that the Beeb wants five of those slots.

The new HD channels from the corporation aren't just destined for Freeview HD however, they will also be available for free to cable and satellite services too, including Virgin Media, Sky and Freesat.

It will be interesting if the BBC can settle its differences with Sky though, as it refused to pay a fee to house its 3D coverage of Wimbledon on the satellite broadcaster's electronic programme guide. It explained to Pocket-lint at the time that no other service wanted to charge to carry the extra channel so decided against given Sky subscribers the opportunity to watch the Mens' and Ladies' singles semi-finals and finals.

Update: The BBC has contacted Pocket-lint to further reveal its plans when it comes to the channels and digital terrestrial television allocation. Rather than bid for five of the 10 new HD channels as previously thought, it will only need two.

The HD versions of BBC Three and CBBC will share existing capacity. BBC Four and CBeebies will take up one of the new channels, as they are not on air at the same time. BBC News will take another.



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