General News

Richard Desmond sells adult TV channels

Express and Star owner cuts links to industry that helped make his fortune by offloading channels including Television X and Red Hot

Published Mon 4th Apr 2016
By itsAdult / General News

Richard Desmond sells  adult TV channels

Express and Star owner cuts links to industry that helped make his fortune by offloading channels including Television X and Red Hot

Richard Desmond has sold his adult TV business, including the Television X and Red Hot channels, severing his last link with the adult entertainment industry that helped the Daily Express and Daily Star owner make his fortune.

Desmond’s company, Northern & Shell, announced on Friday it had sold its adult broadcasting arm, Portland Television, in a management buyout worth less than £1m, 12 years after he sold his adult magazines.

The deal also marks Desmond’s complete exit from the UK television industry following the sale of Channel 5 to Viacom for £463m in 2014.

Portland – a five-strong stable of two subscription channels, Television X and TV XXX, and three pay-per-night channels, including Viewers’ Wives and Red Hot – contributed less than 2% of Northern & Shell’s group revenues over the last three years.

Desmond sold his adult magazine titles including Asian Babes and Big Ones for around £20m in 2004.

Today’s deal was signed off between Northern & Shell and Portland TV’s current managing director, Chris Ratcliff, in what was described as a “six-figure deal”.

Northern & Shell also includes OK! magazine and is home to Desmond’s Health Lottery.

Desmond and his top executives enjoyed a £100m bonanza following the sale of Channel 5, with an almost tenfold increase in pre-tax profits to more than £330m in 2014.

Ratcliff, who has worked in the regulated adult sector for over 20 years, was involved in the launch of Portland TV’s Television X in 1995. He rejoined the company eight years ago and has been its managing director since 2013.

Based in London’s Docklands, Portland TV also operates two on-demand online services, televisionx.com and redhothard.com. Its channels are available on Sky, Freeview and Virgin Media.

Portland TV had other assets including broadcasting facilities but these were sold off with Channel 5.

Source: The Guardian

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