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Five secures second licence but has no plans for new channel yet

LONDON – Five has been granted a second licence that will enable the broadcaster to make its first venture into satellite and cable television and follow the lead of rival networks.

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However, Five made clear that it had no immediate plans to join the digital TV rush and follow rivals Channel 4 and ITV. It said the move was merely a case of "housekeeping".

"If, at some time in the future, we wish to launch a channel then it is there if we need it. We are getting things ready for the future," a Five spokesman said.

According to the channel, Five's parent firm RTL has said it would be happy to fund any new expansion plans in the future to support the network's offering.

Five is the only terrestrial channel not to have a digital TV foothold. ITV recently ramped up its digital TV presence with the launch of ITV4, which is targeted at a male audience, following the successful launch of ITV3. An ITV digital children's channel is also on the way.

Channel 4 recently launched its entertainment channel More 4 to add to E4 and E4+1 digital offerings.

Sky has been attempting to rival its terrestrial competitors with the launch of its new entertainment channel Sky Three last month, which replaced Sky Travel on Freeview, and the rebranding of Sky One Mix to Sky Two.

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