Logo used from 2017 to 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
NetworkChannel 5
Picture format576i 16:9 SDTV
Timeshift service5Spike +1
OwnerChannel 5 Broadcasting Limited
Launched15 April 2015 (8 years ago)
Closed7 January 2020 (3 years ago)
Replaced byParamount Network
Former namesSpike (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.[1] 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."[1]

Spike logo used from 2015-2017

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.[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 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.[8] On 7 January 2020, 5Spike was merged with Paramount Network.[9]



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),[7] and repeats of some of Channel 5's factual programmes.[10][11]

As in the U.S,[12] 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.[13]

Original programming


From Spike US


From Channel 5




Most watched programmes


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.[17] 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

See also



  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. ^ "5Spike UK axed in alignment with US brands". rxtvlog. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Spike to Launch in U.K. with 'Breaking Bad,' 'Walking Dead,' 'Sons of Anarchy'". Variety. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Spike TV: the best and worst of the new channel's brogramming". The Guardian. London. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Mr. Friday Night Lights Out? Joe Schilling eyes PBC Boxing in addition to Bellator and GLORY". MMAMania (SBNation). Vox Media. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  13. ^ "BAMMA makes deal with Spike TV in the UK". Bloody Elbow (SBNation). Vox Media. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Exclusive: Channel 5 Won't Air Breaking Bad Season 3 in the UK". 23 February 2012.
  15. ^ "All five seasons of 'Breaking Bad' to air on new UK Freeview channel Spike". NME. 20 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Breaking Bad to get full UK TV run". BBC News. 26 March 2015.
  17. ^ BARB, via [1]