United Kingdom: Media Exec Calls for HD on Freeview

The executive chairman of ITV in Britain has joined a growing list of calls to establish an HD presence for a far broader range of TV viewers by using spectrum to be made available from the U.K.'s digital switchover in 2012. Michael Graves said the changeover could be used to bring HD content to the U.K.'s Freeview service, but government regulator Ofcom has already voiced its tentative approval to sell future spectrum to the highest bidder.
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The executive chairman of ITV in Britain has joined a growing list of calls to establish an HD presence for a far broader range of TV viewers by using spectrum to be made available from the U.K.'s digital switchover in 2012. Michael Graves said the changeover could be used to bring HD content to the U.K.'s Freeview service, but government regulator Ofcom has already voiced its tentative approval to sell future spectrum to the highest bidder.

In remarks to the group Voice of the Viewer and Listener, Graves said bidding in an open market could wind up leaving an "HD divide" between U.K. viewers--those who can afford HD programs, and those who cannot. For its part, Ofcom says it does not have the authority to say what specific uses should be made of newly available spectrum, according to BBC News.

A growing movement in the U.K. dubbed "HDforAll" includes Grade's ITV, along with the BBC, Channel 4, Sony, Samsung and Dixons, a CE retailer, all of which want part of the spectrum "ringfenced" for HD content on Freeview.