|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Picture format||576i 16:9 SDTV|
|Timeshift service||5Spike +1|
|Owner||Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd|
(Paramount Networks UK & Australia)
|Launched||15 April 2015|
|Closed||7 January 2020|
|Replaced by||Paramount Network|
|Former names||Spike (2015–2017)|
5Spike was a British free-to-air television channel owned by ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia. Launching on 15 April 2015 on Freeview as just Spike, it was a localised version of the American cable channel Spike (now Paramount Network), and became a multiplex channel of Channel 5 in 2017 when it renamed as 5Spike. It primarily aired entertainment programmes, including action and drama series, police documentaries, and programming from its U.S. counterpart, as well as mixed martial arts.
On 7 January 2020, the network was discontinued, with Paramount Network assuming its channel placements and programming.
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. The channel was 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 program mix I think is different from anything else on British TV right now."
Spike launched on 15 April 2015 on Freeview channel 31, displacing 5USA; 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 5USA taking on its previous channel allotment. Among its first programmes, the premiere of Police Interceptors Unleashed was seen by 137,000 viewers.
On 31 October 2017, Spike was rebranded as 5Spike to more closely associate itself with its sister channels and the Channel 5 brand.
A British version of Spike's successor in the US, Paramount Network, was launched on 4 July 2018. On 7 January 2020, 5Spike was merged with Paramount Network. The 5Spike name was discontinued with the Paramount Network assuming its channel positions on Freeview, Sky (including its +1 timeshift channel) and Virgin Media, and with the programming changed to reflect that of 5Spike, with more male-skewering shows and action movies.
On 19 January 2022, this male-skewing British TV channel once again became aligned to parent company Channel 5 when it rebranded as 5Action. This is because the Paramount name is to be used for the streaming service Paramount+ due to be launched via a number of Sky devices in the UK and as ViacomCBS has changed the main American Paramount Network into a movie channel (this plan was later cancelled).
The channel's lineup drew primarily from the original programmes produced by its U.S counterpart, including Catch a Contractor and Lip Sync Battle among others. The channel also aired 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 carried original British productions, such as Police Interceptors Unleashed (a spin-off of the Channel 5 series), and repeats of some of Channel 5's factual programmes.
As in the U.S, mixed-martial arts also comprised a portion of Spike's lineup, with British TV rights to Bellator MMA and, under a long-term deal, exclusive rights to BAMMA events beginning with BAMMA 20 on 25 April 2015.
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. 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||311,700||27 December 2019|
|7||306,500||9 March 2019|
|8||Transporter: The Series||2.07 – Sex, Lies and Video Tapes||303,000||19 February 2016|
|9||Trucking Hell||1.02 – Episode Two||294,000||24 May 2018|
|10||Hummingbird (film)||N/A||286,100||13 March 2019|