Yorkshire said it could not discuss the reasons for its withdrawal, but it is thought that the likely strain on the company's balance sheet caused by a commitment to Channel 5 was a key factor. The company has only recently returned to profit.
The Yorkshire move came just a day after the resignation of its managing director, John Fairley, although a spokesman said the events were unconnected. It is likely to cast further doubt on the attractiveness of the new channel ahead of the 2 May deadline for bids.
The company was part of a consortium that included British Sky Broadcasting and Granada, the group that owns the north-west of England ITV contractor of the same name and LWT, the London weekend broadcaster. Neither has yet admitted to being involved in any Channel 5 consortium and neither would comment on Yorkshire's move.