Usual suspects bid for ITV digital licences

The Independent Television Commission is offering the licences, although it will not be known until 4 July who will be the eventual winners of the three multiplexes on offer.

The BBC has launched a bid jointly with broadcast technology firm Crown Castle and hopes to carry some channels from BSkyB. The service would be available through digital receivers costing less than £100.

David Chance and Ian West, both ex-Sky employees, have also made a bid for the old ITV Digital licences. Their consortium is backed by ITV as well as Channel 4 who wants to secure carriage for its sister channels, E4 and Film Four.

Reports in the media suggest the BBC/Crown Castle bid would be funded by a mixture of advertising revenue and the BBC’s licence fee.

ITV Digital collapsed earlier this year when it was unable to find a buyer for its failing business or money to settle its debt with the Football League.

Each multiplex can carry up to seven television channels but it is thought this would be cut to five to ensure better quality and a stronger signal.

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