Freeview could be set for an upgrade to HD if a new consortium wins one of its licences.
According to the Telegraph, the new consortium is looking to a bid to take over the licence currently operated by SDN, which is due to be renewed in November 2022.
The consortium of investors is said to have pledged to make “substantial payments” to the government if it decides to auction the Freeview licence.
Ministers has recommended changing laws to allow regulator Ofcom to renew SDN’s licence without an auction to help ITV recover from the pandemic, allowing SDN to continue paying no licence fees if it extends its 12-year licence.
However, the report says the unnamed consortium would be willing to pay for upgrades to the Freeview network should it be successful.
The paper quotes a source as saying: “Millions of Freeview homes are often getting a better TV picture on their phone than on their main set. They can watch Money Heist on Netflix in Ultra HD, but Love Island on ITV2 only in standard definition.
“If we are awarded the licence, we would commit to an HD upgrade and support those vulnerable homes without HD access.
“At the same time and from day one, we would make substantial payments to government for access to publicly-owned spectrum. This could be a win-win for the Treasury and for UK viewers. It is time to take Freeview to the next level,” added the source.
Freeview currently offers viewers over 70 TV channels, with 13 available in HD.