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April 05, 2016

Chris Ratcliff Acquires UK's Television X in MBO From Richard Desmond

LONDON, UK—Following successful negotiations, Chris Ratcliff announces completion of a management buy-out of Portland TV. Portland TV, established in London Docklands in 1995, is the adult broadcasting arm of Northern & Shell, the media company founded by adult entrepreneur Richard Desmond, and a market leader in delivering subscription and pay per view services to UK audiences on Sky, Virgin and Freeview. As a result of the acquisition, Portland TV’s adult channels and on demand services, including Television X, will be wholly owned by Chris Ratcliff’s Neon X. “Having worked on the launch of Television X in 1995 and with the channel turning 21 this year, it feels like the right thing to do. It’s time to take the business to the next level and reassert Television X’s position in a converged media space in the UK and beyond,” said Ratcliff. “We’ve got strong brands, excellent programming, a loyal fan base and a great team to drive the business forward.” The acquisition will see Ratcliff call for greater parity in the regulation of adult content in the UK so that broadcasting and on-demand services, on- and offshore companies are regulated on equal terms. “UK adult businesses have been disadvantaged by burdensome regulations while unregulated offshore operators have been given free rein to plunder the market," Ratcliff noted. "The current government consultation on age verification for pornography presents a fantastic opportunity to ensure children are protected from inappropriate online content, safeguard adults’ rights to view legal adult entertainment and level the playing field for all adult providers irrespective of delivery method or jurisdiction.” Rob Sanderson, Northern & Shell Group Finance Director, said, “We are pleased to conclude the sale of Portland TV operations, which were non-core to Northern & Shell’s strategic interests, and we believe the deal with Chris Ratcliff creates the best opportunity for the Portland business to continue to develop in the UK broadcasting market.”

 
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