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5Spike Logo.svg
Launched15 April 2015 (2015-04-15)
NetworkChannel 5
Owned byViacom International Media Networks
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
Audience share0.55%
0.02% (+1)
(September 2018 (2018-09), BARB)
SloganLive it like Spike
CountryUnited Kingdom
Formerly calledSpike (2015–17)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift service5Spike +1
FreeviewChannel 31
FreesatChannel 141
Sky (UK only)Channel 150
Channel 250 (+1)
Astra 2G10964 H 22000 5/6
10964 H 22000 5/6 (+1)
Virgin MediaChannel 154
Streaming media
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only)

5Spike is a British free-to-air television channel owned by Viacom. Launching on 15 April 2015 on Freeview, it is a multiplex channel of Channel 5 and localised version of the American channel Spike (now Paramount Network), it primarily airs entertainment programs including action and drama series, police documentaries, programming from its U.S. counterpart, and mixed martial arts.


Following Viacom's acquisition of Channel 5, it was reported that a local version of the male skewing U.S. channel Spike would be launching in the United Kingdom. These reports were confirmed in late 2014, with the channel proposed to replace Viva on Freeview;[1] the channel is operated under the auspices of Channel 5's programming director Ben Frow; of Spike's lineup, he described the service as a "driven, high-energy channel offering a point of view and programme mix I think is different from anything else on British TV right now."[1]

Spike launched on 15 April 2015 on Freeview channel 31, displacing 5 USA; although it was originally announced that Spike would replace Viva entirely on Freeview, Viva was instead moved to a different channel and reduced to two hours per-day to conserve bandwidth for Spike, with 5 USA taking on its previous channel allotment.[2][3][4][5][6] Among its first programmes, the premiere of Police Interceptors Unleashed was seen by 137,000 viewers.[7]

On 31 October 2017, Spike was rebranded as 5Spike to closer associate itself with its sister channels.

A British version of Spike's successor in the USA, Paramount Network, launched 4 July 2018.[8]


The channel's lineup draws primarily from the original programmes produced by its U.S counterpart, including Bar Rescue, Catch a Contractor, and Lip Sync Battle among others; the channel also airs imported U.S dramas, from modern dramas such as Breaking Bad (notably marking the first time the entire series would be broadcast by British television; only the first two seasons were shown by Fox and 5 USA, with the remainder available via Netflix), Sons of Anarchy, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Walking Dead, to classic shows such as The X-Files, The A-Team and Knight Rider. Spike also carries original British productions, such as Police Interceptors Unleashed (a spin-off of the Channel 5 series hosted by footballer Vinnie Jones), [7] and repeats of some of Channel 5's factual programmes.[9][10]

As in the U.S,[11] mixed-martial arts also comprises a portion of Spike's lineup, with British TV rights to Bellator MMA and, under a new long-term deal, exclusive rights to BAMMA events beginning with BAMMA 20 on 25 April 2015.[12]

Original programming[edit]


Most watched programmes[edit]

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on Spike, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 17 March 2019;[13] the number of viewers does not include repeats or airings on 5Spike +1.

Rank Show Episode Number of Viewers Date
1 The Expendables 2 N/A 359,000 27 March 2016
2 The Guns of Navarone 343,000 20 May 2018
3 Centurion 328,000 12 February 2017
4 The Expendables 3 335,000 27 December 2017
5 327,000 26 March 2017
6 Battle of Britain N/A 306,500 9 March 2019
7 Transporter: The Series 2.07 - Sex, Lies and Video Tapes 303,000 19 February 2016
8 Trucking Hell 1.02 - Episode Two 294,000 24 May 2018
9 Hummingbird (film) N/A 286,100 13 March 2019
10 Hang 'Em High N/A 282,100 7 October 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Viacom to launch Spike TV in UK". Broadcast. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Freeview Channel Updates: April 2015". a516digital. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Spike launches 15 April and some channels are moving". Freeview. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Spike TV to launch with Breaking Bad". Broadcast. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  5. ^ Munn, Patrick (26 March 2015). "VIMN To Launch Spike UK on April 15th; Picks Up UK Rights to Olympus, Justified, Sons & Anarchy and More". TVWise. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Dire UTV Ireland could learn a thing or two from Spike". Herald.ie. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Breaking Bad helps Spike to solid launch night". Broadcast Now. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  8. ^ White, Peter (8 June 2018). "Viacom To Launch Paramount Network In The UK In July With 'Suits' & 'The Mick'". Deadline. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Spike to Launch in U.K. with 'Breaking Bad,' 'Walking Dead,' 'Sons of Anarchy'". Variety. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Spike TV: the best and worst of the new channel's brogramming". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Mr. Friday Night Lights Out? Joe Schilling eyes PBC Boxing in addition to Bellator and GLORY". MMAMania (SBNation). Vox Media. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "BAMMA makes deal with Spike TV in the UK". Bloody Elbow (SBNation). Vox Media. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ BARB, via [1]

External links[edit]