It would appear that some channels have been removed from one of the Astra2D transponders (10921 H) today; the channels removed seem to be pay-per-view channels serviced by Sky.
Whilst not major news, it has been a long time since 2D slots have opened up so the question will be, what for?
For those not aware, UK broadcasters wishing to broadcast ‘in the clear’ (i.e. FTA) must allocate their channels a slot on the Astra2D beam which is more UK focused to limit access outside the UK; a previous post on this subject can be found here.
With any luck, Channel 4 may be able to buy one of the slots for C4 HD when it comes out of contract with Sky (again) and also Channel Five may be able to grab a few for Fiver and Five US which are presently encrypted (FTV). There may even be space for Five HD!
This is purely speculation though, for all we know, the pay-per-view channels may return or the space may still be rented by Sky and used for other channels they intend launching; but if there is any opportunity for the UK broadcasters to use as a reason to actively pursue the slots, now is the time.
Thanks Rich for alerting us to this development.