9Live was a commercial German participation TV channel launched on 1 September 2001 and lasted until 9 August 2011. It originated from a channel called tm3. Most of its programming is lottery and quiz games, in which the viewer can participate over the phone. An English version also broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and early 2005, during E4's downtime hours.
9Live belonged to ProSiebenSat.1 Media and was also responsible for phone-votes and nightly quiz-shows on Sat.1, ProSieben and Kabel Eins. Sometimes, 9Live broadcasts programs of those channels.
The channel financed itself mainly through money paid for the phone calls. Regardless of whether the calling party would have the chance to talk to the quiz host, they would pay 50 euro cent to call from Germany or 70 cents from Austria.
The games were legally controversial. In German law, there is the distinction between "Glücksspiel" (gambling) and "Gewinnspiel" (competition), the latter theoretically being gambling without money being bet. Gambling is not allowed on German television. In court, 9Live defended itself with the argument that a phone call does not cost more than sending a postcard to advertisement-financed lotteries of magazines and TV-shows, which themselves are considered a "Gewinnspiel".
The total revenue of 9Live was 60.6 million euro in the year 2002 and 78.7 million in 2003. For comparison, during broadcast the channel proudly claims to have paid out close to one million euro in November 2004 alone.
9Live also featured a wide range of humorous and comical moderators. One name worth mentioning is Alida Lauenstein, winner of Big Brother Germany, who can be seen moderating from time to time.
The most recent slogan from 2006 until its final air date was "Heute ist mein Tag" ("Today's my day").
The channel has also diversified by airing telenovelas and lifestyle programming in the afternoon, under the title "Neun TV".
9Live broadcast from the Astra 1KR, 1L, and 3A satellites and is uplinked by SES Platform Services.
On 31 May 2011 9Live replaced its programming with old sitcoms from the ProSiebenSat1-archive and AstroTV. Although the channel still aired its original television series, the game shows were replaced with infomercials and horoscope readings. In its final moments, all of the current and former moderators gathered in the studios to share their memories of working with 9Live. In an ending similar to the final scene in The Truman Show, moderator Thomas Schuermann looked at the camera and said "in case we don't see you, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night."
9Live was finally shut down on 9 August 2011.
In 2003, E4 bought the rights to the show in the United Kingdom. The English-language version was produced by ProSiebenSat.1 Media in the same studios as the original German versions, in Munich.
The original co-production crew were Debbie King (presenter), and co-producers Chuck Thomas and Simone Thorogood. While co-creating the English version in late 2003, they then pitched a similar idea to UK production company Nation 217. After commissioning, the show was produced as Bowling For Bucks. Approached by Fremantle Media, the trio were commissioned to create a similar new show, which was broadcast as Quizmania. Initially shown on satelitte channel Information TV, it was quickly picked up by ITV1 for their night time slot.
E4 continued with a new production team, which transmitted the show from late 2004 in the same timeslot as Quizmania, but stopped in early 2005 due to the success of Quizmania.