Freeview channel 48 is now available for re-allocation following a six month review on how the Freeview channel number rulebook applies to TV channels who share Freeview channel numbers with other services in other parts of the UK.
Digital UK, the organisation responsible for managing the channel numbering on Freeview, has issued a statement confirming that channel 48 can now been re-allocated, following a review of Digital UK's policy on geographically shared channel numbers - where channels, such as Movies4Men and Movies4Men+1 in Manchester share their channel numbers with Irish PSBs in Northern Ireland.
There has been no word so far as to whether a channel will actually appear on channel 48 anytime soon.
After Food Network moved from channel 48 to 41 at the end of August, no other broadcaster could claim channel 48, while Digital UK made its mind up.
The review was completed at the end of February. Digital UK has ruled that "associated channel rules apply equally to geographically shared [Freeview channel numbers]", so that channels associated with a service broadcast in a limited part of the UK can apply to leapfrog other channels to sit closer together in the channel list.