BBC confirms interest in ITV Digital licence

LONDON - The BBC has confirmed it is interested in bidding for the three digital licences made available after ITV Digital's collapse.

The broadcaster announced it had made a submission to the Independent Television Commission, saying in a statement: "The BBC has expressed interest in the three digital terrestrial multiplex licences formerly owned by ITV Digital. This is not a bid but a holding position."

The BBC is leading a consortium of broadcasters comprising ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C Digital Network, which already holds a digital terrestrial spectrum licence.

So far, the five broadcasters have put in separate expressions of interest to the ITC because they have failed to agree on a proposal.

They had planned to submit a consortium bid but did not have enough time to agree on a proposal before the deadline of 5pm yesterday.

"It was not realistic for us to reach agreement in the time available before the deadline for submissions," the BBC said. "So we will be entering into discussions with the other interested parties very soon."

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