I don't usually celebrate when my favourite broadcaster does a deal with not only my least favourite broadcaster but also Satan's direct line from the Underworld, but it could bring sizeable benefits.
Just a few days after I reported on the BBC's plans to develop High Definition compatible Freeview boxes it has partnered with reality TV hell hole ITV to launch a free-to-view satellite service.
Just like Sky, users would be required to have a satellite dish installed on their homes and a digibox(es) but channels will not be encrypted and far greater bandwidth will be available, allowing the broadcast of stations in HD.
Little else is known about the project – currently dubbed 'Freesat' – or whether it has any ties to the Beeb's HD Freeview plans, but it does have a remarkably quick time to market with the two companies indicating they would like to see it live by spring next year.
Given this condensed schedule I would expect a lot of press to surface about this over the next few months, or for it to begin slipping and eventually turn up some time around 2010. Either way, with analogue transmissions due to be switched off in 2012 this is unlikely to be the last alternative we have thrown at us over the next five years...