A Freeview channel is to go up for auction. Arqiva, which holds the licence for two of the six multiplexes that make up the UK’s digital terrestrial TV platform, is calling for bidders by October 22, with the channel available from January.In 2005 Channel 4 paid about £10m (E12.8m) a year for its sixth slot on Freeview, when the DTT platform was in 10.8m households. A recent Ofcom report estimated that Freeview was now in 16.7m homes.There are currently 48 TV channels and 24 radio channels available on Freeview. In June, Freeview multiplex operator SDN, a subsidiary of ITV, put another channel up for auction. It will be available from January 1.However, the combination of an economic downturn hitting broadcaster's budgets, falling revenues from advertising and the fact that many of the big players now have a presence on Freeview could depress interest in the auction.