London Live, the first 24 hour entertainment channel devoted exclusively to the Capital, launched today on the Freeview channel 8 slot, along with BSkyB channel 117, Virgin Media channel 159 and YouView channel 8.
The network is part of a UK government drive to launch digital channels that offer local news coverage and programming.
London Live is owned by ESTV, which won the television franchise auction from Ofcom in February 2013. ESTV is 100% owned by Lebedev Holdings.
The channel will broadcast on the CoMux-operated London local DTT multiplex, radiated on UHF channel 29 from the Crystal Palace transmitting station, and will also be made available via satellite and cable TV.
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.
Studios were built from scratch in the Kensington headquarters of the Independent and London Evening Standard newspapers.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.