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14 May 2014updated 26 Sep 2015 8:46am

London Live TV company lost £1m: here’s why the channel’s not doing so well

The company behind the new London Live TV channel has reported a loss of more than £1m in its first financial figures – here's a reminder of the media's worst reviews of the new channel.

By Media Mole

The Guardian today reports that the television company, ESTV, behind the new TV channel London Live, launched at the end of March this year, has made a loss of more than £1m in 13 months.

Here is a reminder of the media’s worst verdicts on the venture set up by Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Independent, Evening Standard and i:

High on filler and low on content, it frequently felt like it had been made by Media Studies undergraduates. Shaky camerawork and whizzy angles made viewers seasick. Picture quality was worryingly grainy, as if filmed on a mobile phone. Inane vox pops and awkward handovers were reminiscent of a Chris Morris parody.

Michael Hogan, Telegraph


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Almost nobody is watching London Live’s flagship programmes – the live “news and current affairs” that fill five and a half hours every weekday. The figures are so close to zero on many occasions that they surely cannot accurately be measured. The breakfast show is averaging 2,400 viewers; the early evening show, just 4,000.

 Neil Midgely, Forbes


There is no escaping the reality of these dire ratings. London Live could be London Dead within months if it cannot attract more viewers soon.

Roy Greenslade, Guardian


[We] interviewed 26 people in Central London: four had heard of the station – broadcast on Freeview channel eight – and, of those, two had watched it. Meanwhile, London Live’s executive director Stefano Hatfield revealed on Friday [25 April 2014] he was leaving the station less than a month after it went live to work on a new start-up outside the Lebedev-owned media empire. 

William Turvill, Press Gazette


… as far as I can tell from a straw poll of London friends and colleagues, no one is taking the idea of a London TV channel seriously. They are certainly not going: Oooh, great, at last, just what I always dreamed of – 24-hour coverage of celeb clothing, more shouty music shows and reruns of 80s dramas like London’s Burning, which was frankly pretty crap at the time.

Paul Blanchard, Huffington Post


I’d totally forgotten what really bad TV looked like. It’s as if the chief execs at Channel 5 got together with Alan Partridge for a 21st-century rebrand.

Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The Spectator


BUT! Fear not, London Livers. There was one glowing review, summing up the channel’s launch night thus:

A-listers, sharp chat, great food – and that’s just the first course

Just one thing. It was from the Independent.

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