London Live (TV channel)
|Launched||31 March 2014|
|Owned by||ESTV (Lebedev Holdings Limited)|
|Audience share||0.06%, BARB (September 2018),|
|Slogan||Your Capital's TV Channel|
|Headquarters||Northcliffe House, Kensington, London|
|Virgin Media||Channel 159|
London Live is a local television channel in London, England. The channel transmits local news, current affairs, sports, arts, events and entertainment. It is part of Ofcom's rollout of local television channels throughout the UK. The owner of London Live is the Russian oligarch Evgeny Lebedev who is also the chairman and owner of both Evening Standard Ltd, publisher of the Evening Standard newspaper, which he bought in January 2009 and of Independent Print Ltd, publisher of The Independent and Independent on Sunday, which he bought in March 2010.
London Live launched at 6:30 p.m. on 31 March 2014.
The channel is owned by ESTV, which won the Local Digital Television Programme Service (L-DTPS) auction from Ofcom in February 2013. ESTV is owned by Lebedev Holdings.
The channel broadcasts on the CoMux-operated London local DTT Multiplexing (mux), radiated on UHF channel 29 from the Crystal Palace transmitting station, and is also available via satellite and cable TV to viewers with London postcodes. On 21 March 2018 the London DTT mux was moved to UHF channel 35 as part of 700 MHz clearance plans. Crystal Palace also operates on a Single Frequency Network with Croydon, that improves reception in South & East London. London Live also now occupies the unadvertised local mux available on UHF channel 34 from the Hemel Hempstead relay as of 27 March 2019, which has extended coverage outside the M25 to Hemel Hempstead & St. Albans areas.
Test broadcasts for London Live began at the start of March 2014 with the broadcast of a short looped promotional film featuring clips from the channel's programming.
London Live broadcasts from studios at Northcliffe House in Kensington, which is also the headquarters of The Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers, both owned by Lebedev Holdings. Before the launch, the channel was expected to spend between £15m, possibly £18m before the break-even was reached in about three years. Revenue was predicted by then to hit the £25m mark. 
Since the channel first launched, London Live has commissioned a varied portfolio of programmes which include Drag Queens of London, Good Morning Breakfast, CTRL Freaks, Can You Cook It, Food Junkies, Fresh Fantasy, Jeff Leach +1, Place Invaders, F2 Kicks Off and Nihal’s City Swagger. It has also commissioned documentaries from upcoming doc-makers which include: Girl on Girl, Jail Birds, Half Man Standing, Teenage Kicks, Sizzle London, The Young Upstarts, Digital Nation, Roger & Robin's Night Club Tips, Ron & Ron, Fight Club London, No Place Like Home, Antisocial Network and Beggar Off.
In September 2013 the channel announced its first acquired series with the family sitcom, All About the McKenzies. The series, previously only available via YouTube, is written and produced by Samuell Benta.
On 27 November 2013 London Live announced its first prime-time commission F2 Kicks Off from UK indie Renowned Films – the Film & TV division of Renowned Group. F2 Kicks Off with Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch.
London Live also broadcasts a range of comedy, drama, documentaries and entertainment programmes such as London Real, Absolute Power, Green Wing, Peep Show, Smack the Pony, Spaced, Trigger Happy TV, Twenty Twelve, Famous, Rich and Homeless, Filthy Rich and Homeless, Soho Blues, The Tube, Snog Marry Avoid?, Vice Squad, Hale and Pace, Born Equal, Freefall, Harley Street, London's Burning, Misfits, Moses Jones, The Shadow Line, White Teeth, 10 Years Younger and Cash in the Attic.
In July 2017, it was announced the channel would have an early morning lineup of children's programming from the libraries of Saban Brands and Studio 100 (such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993–95, 2010 "Disney era" version) and Digimon)
Despite being owned by the same company that owns the London Evening Standard and The Independent, London Live has never had a strong news presence.
Its early efforts were derided by critics, and regular cutbacks to the news budget since early 2015 have seen the quality and quantity of news programming decrease further.
Until late March 2020, ‘London Live News’ consisted of one live programme each weekday between 1800 and 1900. Stories from several days were then repeated in ‘News Rewind’ that aired from Wednesday to Sunday mornings from 0330 to 0500.
At weekends, arts-based interviews from the weekday programme were repeated in a programme called Spotlight London, which aired between 1800 and 1900 on Saturday and Sunday. No live news has been broadcast at weekends since 2018.
Since late March 2020 the channel has broadcast no news programming whatsoever, apart from repeats of the daily government COVID press conferences in the ‘News Rewind’ slot.
Former On-air team
- Anthony Baxter (Presenter/Head of News)
- Alex Beard (Presenter)
- Alison Earle (Presenter/Reporter)
- Luke Blackall (Presenter/Reporter)
- Reya El-Salahi (Presenter/Reporter)
- Stefan Levy (Presenter/Reporter)
- Toby Earle (TV Editor)
The UK's culture secretary Oliver Dowden called on the media regulator Ofcom to take action against London Live after it broadcast a 105-minute interview with the conspiracy theorist David Icke which contained allegations about the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview was an edited version of an interview Icke did with YouTube channel London Real in March on the coronavirus crisis. YouTube deleted a later London Live interview with Icke and said it would wipe any other videos that falsely linked Covid-19 to 5G mobile networks. Ofcom later confirmed that the 80 minute interview broke broadcasting rules saying Icke "expressed views which had the potential to cause significant harm to viewers in London during the pandemic", his "claims went largely unchallenged" being "made without the support of any scientific or other evidence".
Awards and nominations
|2017||Diversity in Media Awards||Broadcaster of the Year||London Live||Nominated|
- Sweney, Mark (2014-01-13). "London Live to launch on 31 March". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-13.
- Sweney, Mark (April 28, 2019). "Evgeny Lebedev in talks to sell London Live TV station" – via www.theguardian.com.
- Greenslade, Roy (23 March 2014). "London Live: Can it change the capital's television viewing habits?" – via The Guardian.
- "Stefano Hatfield: Original ideas will make great viewing". Evening Standard. 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- UK, Televisual Media Ltd. "Televisual - NEWS & COMMENTS".
- "Renowned Films – Television - Branded - Digital".
- "London Live Unveils First Commissions; Two Factual Entertainment Series, Game Show & 'Comedy Hotspot' Season - TVWise". 28 November 2013.
- "Brothers With No Game".
- Attitude Magazine. "Drag Queens of London coming this Spring". Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "Coronavirus: Ofcom 'assesses' David Icke TV interview". BBC News. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "UK's London Live Faces Sanctions After Airing Long Interview With Coronavirus Denier David Icke". Deadline. 9 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- Tobitt, Charlotte (20 April 2020). "Ofcom sanctions London Live over 'potentially harmful' David Icke interview on coronavirus". Press Gazette. Retrieved 25 April 2020.