C4, BBC, ITV to launch HD on Freeview

Ofcom to give trio free hi-def spectrum in 2009

LONDON -- Channel 4, the BBC and ITV are to be given free high-definition spectrum on the Freeview digital terrestrial platform, media regulator Ofcom said Friday.

It plans to auction an additional HD channel to commercial players by the end of 2010. The move, due to take effect next year, will allow digital terrestrial customers with HD-enabled sets to watch such popular shows as "Coronation Street," "Life on Mars" and Word Cup soccer in high-definition by fall 2009.