Richard Desmond cuts ties with adult TV channels

Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers and founder of Northern & Shell, has sold his adult TV business, breaking all ties with the adult entertainment industry that kicked off his empire.

The sale was announced today (1 April) by his company Northern & Shell in what was described as a “six-figure deal”.

It involves the sale of the company’s adult broadcasting arm Portland Television, and the five channels it operates, in a management buyout worth less than £1m.

The move comes 12 years after he sold his adult magazines including Asian Babes and Big Ones for around £20m in 2004. It marks Desmond’s total exit from the UK television industry following the sale of Channel 5 to Viacom for £463m in 2014.

Portland Television operates two subscription channels, Television X and TV XXX, and three pay-per-night channels, including Viewers’ Wives and Red Hot. It also operates two on-demand online services, and Its channels are available on Sky, Freeview and Virgin Media.

Over the last three years, the broadcasting arm has contributed less than two per cent of Northern & Shell’s group revenues.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.