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London Live seeks to reduce local programming

Struggling local TV licence holder London Live has made a request to Ofcom to reduce its local programming obligations. 

The request, made by the channel's owner ESTV Limited and published on Ofcom's website today, includes the line that London Live will now only "endeavour" to be an interactive news and entertainment service.

The channel, which launched in March on Freeview, Sky and Virgin in the capital, wants to reduce its commitment to provide local programming in peak-time from 3 hours to 1 hour per day. London Live had originally promised to increase local peak-time programming to 3.5 hours a day.

Across a whole 24 hour period,  London Live is seeking to cap its daily local programme hours at 8 hours a day, having previously promised to increase hours to 10 hours of local programming a day from 2016.

Repeats of local programmes will also be affected, if the request is approved. London Live wants to get rid of the obligation to repeat programmes in its hours of local programming each day. It currently has to broadcast 8 hours of 'first run' programming and 10 hours of repeats.

Ratings for the channel have been poor during the channel's first months on air, with repeats of old TV series, including Couplings and London's Burning seeing the highest audiences.

Ofcom is seeking views on London Live's request. Responses must be in by 10am on the 26th August 2014.


  1. If it can't commit to and honour its original raison d'etre of being a local service for London, what's the point of it having a licence at all?

    Instead, withdraw its licence and give it to an operator who's committed.

  2. If London Live can't find 'local' stories in a city with a population of 8 million, what hope does the government's flawed 'local TV' model have for all the other much smaller license-holders.
    Perhaps the government has got it all wrong. Perhaps we need a community-based programme service produced by those communities themselves - with the station's main task to facilitate the training and transmission of these programmes. Just how many communities would like to take advantage of that kind of service in a city the size of London. If you're interested, see what the folk at Sheffield Live are doing with their Local TV license.
    Rupert Kirkham, Director, Fromedia and Swindon Viewpoint

  3. Watched this channel a few times . Just seemed like a kids channel to me, nothing for the grown up viewer. Cannot be bothered with it anymore

  4. These local channels will never get anywhere, they will all fold I am sure. No one is that interested I am afraid for any of them to be a sustainable service

    1. And yet north of the border, STV Glasgow has seen a lot of interest. The complete opposite of London.


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