Five is considering taking its main terrestrial channel into the pay-TV market as it investigates radical survival strategies.

Sources close to the broadcaster revealed the plan is part of a potential strategy to shift its entire channel portfolio (Five, Fiver, Five US) to pay.

It is one of several options open to Five as it looks to embrace the pay market, as acknowledged by Five chairman and chief executive Dawn Airey at the recent RTS Cambridge Conference.

At the event, Airey admitted the “pure broadcasting business is pretty much a loss leader”.

“We are looking to consolidate or potentially go pay,” she said. “We won’t be able to be the same as we are now in terms of structure, in terms of platforms we are on, and in terms of partnerships we have… it will change - and I suspect it will change quite quickly.”

Another option understood to be under consideration is introducing paid-for pull VoD services. This would mean using Project Canvas or services such as the Arqiva-owned Kangaroo platform to charge consumers directly for content.