Trinity Mirror to announce the sale of L!ve TV this week for pounds 15m

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The Independent Online
TRINITY Mirror will announce the sale of L!ve TV this week for pounds 15m, even though the station went off air last week and most of the 200 staff are to be made redundant, writes Jason Nisse.

The purchaser, cable TV company NTL, will take on only the carriage rights, allowing it to broadcast completely different programming where L!ve TV used to be. NTL is expected to turn the channel, which started out as a trendy lifestyle station but latterly concentrated on weird programming and soft pornography, into a sports channel.

The sale will leave Trinity Mirror with an unoccupied floor at its Canary Wharf headquarters, along with state-of- the-art equipment installed at a cost of pounds 8m but now believed to have little value.

L!ve was launched as part of David Montgomery's strategy to break into TV when he was chief executive of Mirror Group. However, the station never made money and a plan to bolster it by securing the rights to Premier League football failed.

Mr Montgomery was ousted as Mirror chief executive early this year, and six months later the group agreed a pounds 1.7bn merger with Trinity.