Evening Standard wins Local TV bid

The owners of the Evening Standard and Independent are hoping to bring new advertisers to its portfolio with the launch of its local TV station London Live.

Evening Standard London Live

Ofcom awarded the publisher with the license to run the local TV station for London today (4 February), beating off four other high profile bids.

London Live is set to broadcast 18 hours a day on Freeview channel 8 within the next year, with a range of news, entertainment and sport content. It will be backed by an estimated £5m in annual marketing and editorial investment across the Evening Standard and Independent portfolio.

It will be managed by an eight-strong board of directors, comprising of company owner Evgeny Lebedev, Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands, London Live managing director Tim Kirkman and Andrew Mullins, managing director of Independent Print Limited and Evening Standard Limited.

London Live is also actively recruiting a small amount of specialist broadcast ad sales staff to work on the venture and will restructure its existing team to reflect the television addition.

Mullins told Marketing Week London Live gives the publisher an opportunity to talk to brands it may not have worked with before on its print titles, such as price comparison sites and grocery brands. It will also approach its top 20 print advertisers to discuss how they may be able to add the channel to their media plans.

He added: “Every single advertiser we’ve spoken to so far [about London Live] says it’s fantastic news, especially with the opportunities around product placement, ad funded programming and this added audio visual layer. We aren’t going to be a success if we treat ourselves as a linear TV operation selling 30 second ads as we will not make money if that’s our only objective. This is about getting under the skin of Londoners.”

The content on London Live will be led by the Evening Standard brand under new programme director Jane Mote, although Mullins previously told Marketing Week the i newspaper may lend its “participatory” audience and media management expertise to boost engagement with the channel.

The other consortia that had hoped to win the licence included London TV, which would be run by newspaper publishers Archant, Tindle and Trinity Mirror; YourTV, headed by former BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons; London8, which was supported by ITN, Time Out and the Press Association; and Made Television, chaired by co-founder of pay-TV company Top Up TV Ian West.

Ofcom announced it was to award 19 local TV licences across the UK, a move backed by former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt who said the network would offer communities “a new voice”.

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