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Optimistic calls in administrators

Company hit by phone line scandals

U.K. participation TV specialist Optimistic Ent. has gone into receivership, claiming adverse media coverage of premium phone line TV services for the drop in profits.

The decision to fold the company, which makes gameshow series “Playmania” for GSN in the U.S., follows attempts to refinance and restructure. Optimistic is quoted on Blighty’s Alternative Investment Market.

In a statement, the Optimistic board said discussions had been held with potential investors but, after undertaking due diligence, none had been able to support a restructuring of the group.

Putting the company into administration provided the best prospect of “providing a restructuring … for the benefit of shareholders and creditors.”

It added that negative media coverage plus regulatory investigations had affected consumer confidence and audience participation in its shows.

As a result Optimistic Media, the TV and radio production arm of the business, which produced an operating profit in the first quarter of the year, has moved back into loss.

Administrators have agreed to sell the assets of Optimistic Network and Optimistic Media to Fluorescent Media, a company in which Optimistic’s chairman and chief executive Jasper Smith has an interest.

In the U.K. all the main terrestrial broadcasters have been involved in accusations of malpractice relating to their premium phone line activities.

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