Round-Up: News Int Axes Research, Freeview HD Invite, Ad-Funded P2P Video

News International: More fall-out from the Boston Consulting Group report that advised axing the magazine unit and introducing a single management layer – The Sun and Times publisher is now closing its research library and will tell its journalists to do their own research instead, Guardian reports. The report says 20 of the 25 staff will get redundancy, with the rest staying on to train newspaper reporters how to conduct their own research. They will switch from the in-house research library to the Newspaper Licensing Association‘s (NLA) database.

Freeview HD: Ofcom has invited ITV (LSE: ITV), Channel 4, S4C, Five and Teletext to apply by August 13 for two of three slots on Freeview’s Multiplex B, currently run by BBC. It is reorganising the spectrum using MPEG 4 and DVB-T2 to free capacity for HD channels from November 2009, after which another slot may become available. ITV, C4 and Five struck a HD agreement in November but the regulator overrode their plans and told me it’s open to “creative” applications from the other pair, too. Applications cost £15,000.

Ad-funded P2P video: Israel-based Hiro, which is asking TV makers to distribute via its player, which includes a proprietary ad layer, has struck a much-needed deal with P2P distribution network Pando, reducing the costly transmission overhead that remained in the model. Trialled by BT Vision for online movies, Hiro inserts unskippable ads in video downloads and its “Positive DRM” offers geo- and time-based locks and ad placement.