Reminds me of the early years of Sky Digital, which had nowt on channel 103 for what seemed like forever until ITV(1) eventually appeared. Quite what the issue was back then, I have no idea.
There was no dispute. ITV simply didn't see any commercial value in joining Sky's platform, and of course Granada and Carlton had put their hats in the OnDigital DTT
ring. As ITV were granted position 103 on Sky's EPG
as part of their PSB status, Sky were obliged to leave the slot empty ( they'd have loved to have stuck Sky1 there !)
By 2001 it was clear Sky had a robust and viable platform ( and OnD was declining into a shambles) so ITV joined. It wasn't cheap of course because all 15 regions had to uplinked, and postcode mapped to 103. At that stage only 4 versions of BBC 1 were available ( rather like BBC1 HD currently)