Backed by Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Independent and Evening Standard, London Live will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the aim of providing a metropolitan TV rival to the coverage of the capital offered by the BBC, ITV and Sky. Its launch has been touted as the biggest since that of Channel 5 in 1997.
“London’s a great city that has so much to offer as far as culture, art, theatre music, sport,” Lebedev told the BBC. “We’ve tried to create a channel that is completely different from all the other channels. And the way we are different, is unlike taking well-known names and celebrities and just putting them on the channel, we’ve tried to create a launchpad for new talent,” he said, including what he described as “YouTube sensations”.
Stefano Hatfield, editorial director of London Live, said: “The biggest thing is that once people see it they will wonder why they didn’t have it before. Cities like New York and Toronto have dedicated TV channels; many cities do. It is crazy that London hasn’t before now. There are so many stories in the capital and broadcasters like ITV and the BBC just don’t have the time to do them all properly.”