In the summer of last year the media regulator made a slot available on Freeview for Five to provide an HD service, but the channel has been unable to commit to a launch date for Five HD, or even provide Ofcom with the necessary programming schedule.
As a result of these oversights it now seems that Five HD is not likely to appear on Freeview before 2012, as the regulator has announced that it cannot reserve the slot indefinitely.
This move by Ofcom has fuelled rumours that this vacant slot will be offered to the BBC by default.
Currently the BBC has one high definition channel, BBC HD.
This means that the BBC will have to think about a second HD channel or allow the slot to pass on to another broadcaster.