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Freeview slot up for auction

Preparations are underway to auction a slot for a standard definition Freeview channel.

Broadcast infrastructure company Arqiva, who also operate a number of Freeview multiplexes, has issued a note to broadcasters giving them until 6th July 2018 to express their interest in the new slot.

The bandwidth is suitable for 1x SD TV channel and cannot be used for radio, data or any non-TV service.

Through a competitive bidding process, the winner will be able to broadcast up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Freeview. The slot is available from a "mutually agreed date."

Such slots are relatively rare, as the majority of SD channel slots only become available after an existing service exits the platform. Arqiva currently carries 16 standard definition videostreams on its first multiplex, but just 15 streams on its second multiplex.

Earlier auctions attracted great interest: in 2005, auctions climbed over £10m, when broadcasters were fighting over new Freeview channel capacity. Now though, most major operaters have already secured sufficient slots for their channels.