London Live posts £11.6m loss for first six months

london-liveLondon Live lost £11.6m in its first six months of trading according to its first set of financial results, although the local TV channel’s viewing figures increased throughout 2015.
The capital’s station, controlled by The Independent and Evening Standard owners the Lebedev family, generated revenues of £1.3m for the six months ending September 2014. This resulted in operating losses of £11.6m, which fell to £10m after excluding exceptional start-up costs and year-end accounting adjustments.

Holding company ESTV has predicted that operating losses will reduce by 50% by September.
The channel launched on 31 March 2014 and made an inauspicious start when it asked Ofcom to radically reduce its commitment to primetime local programming four months later.
The media regulator gave London Live the go-ahead to cut its first-run local programming commitments in May after rejecting its original proposal.

The broadcaster has claimed its Barb-measured viewing figures have steadily improved this year.
It hit a 0.36% viewing share in London in May, up by 112% year-on-year and by 13% compared with the previous month.

London Live’s share of viewing in the capital in May was greater than Discovery Channel, BT Sport, 4Seven and Spike, it reported. It has also exceeded the 0.34% share it targeted to hit in September.
May was its best ever month with 2.5m viewers, while London Live pointed to Barb data which ranked it 21st in audience reach terms, above 5USA, Sky News, Watch, ITVBe, Quest and Comedy Central.

Chief operating officer Tim Kirkman said: “We launched a quality channel after building the complete broadcasting chain from scratch and our agile approach during our first year has seen us evolve the channel, focusing investment on the most popular programming and ensuring a financially sustainable cost base for the business.”

Despite a troubled existence on air and requests to reduce local content, plus job cuts, ESI Media says the channel has seen an upturn in viewing figures, with 2.5m adults watching the channel in May 2015, up nearly 200,000 on April.

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