Evening Standard's TV channel to blend news with London-themed content

Lebedevs' London Live to offer rolling news, sport, arts, drama and more – plus 33 'hyperlocal' internet channels

The Lebedevs' new Evening Standard TV channel will attempt to lure Londoners with an eclectic mix of programming including four hours-a-day of news, live coverage of West End shows and events such as the Notting Hill Carnival, local sport including as bicycle polo and capital-themed drama such as Whitechapel.

London Live, which will launch next year on Freeview, will initially air for 18 hours a day but will become a 24-hour channel if it can attract enough viewers, according to the bid document submitted to Ofcom.

The heart of the service will be news and current affairs, delivered via the Evening Standard's 120 journalists, complete with a new TV studio to be built in its Derry Street newsroom in west London, with a pledge of 28 hours a week.

There will be a minimum of 4 hours of "fresh" news a day, with the rolling news service to be called iNews. London Live is planning to hire four full-time "presenter/producers".

In a bid to distinguish itself from existing broadcast heavyweights such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, London Live will also launch 33 internet TV channels to offer each of the capital's boroughs "hyperlocal" content.

News will be one of six strands of programming at launch, including a commitment to seven hours of current affairs programming each week and Set in London, which will be the home of acquired entertainment programming to boost peak and weekend viewing.

London Live is also aiming to acquire dramas set in the capital, giving London's Burning and Whitechapel as examples.

The channel is also promising at least 42 hours a week of "quality content created by Londoners for Londoners".

This will include London GO, which will include live and acquired programming to help Londoners navigate "arts, cultural and sporting events", such as the Notting Hill Carnival, bicycle polo in Fulham and the East London Royals basketball team in Barking.

It will also include a strand called Launchpad, which will showcase new film-makers from across London, while London Relives which will comprise at least an hour a day of "archive classics celebrating London's rich history".

In its second and third years, London Live aims to expand with original programming commissioned in genres including food, homes, fashion, comedy and drama.

London Live will have about 50 full-time staff responsible for content creation, moderation, programming, marketing and ad sales.

The Evening Standard is to guarantee £5m of media value a year in its newspaper and online presence to advertise London Live, and will also include a daily TV programme schedule in the paper valued at £3.1m.

The company says it has budgeted for more than £15m on content creation and acquisition, although it does not say over what time period, to help hit its target viewership.

However, if this does not prove to bring in the required audience levels to make the business profitable London Live says "the option is available via our funding model/sister newspapers to increase expenditure".

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Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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