Channel 5 owners Viacom have announced they will be launching a new channel to ‘join the Channel 5 network’ called Spike, in what the US broadcaster says is an example of how it is investing more in Britain.
The broadcaster acquired Channel 5 for £450m in May 2014, with the new channel launching on Freeview, taking the place of VIVA.
In the US Spike currently reaches almost 100 million households, with it’s UK programming combing repeats of Channel 5 factual shows including Cowboy Builders with Spike’s US content, such as Bar Rescue which currently airs on 5*, a show where a nightlife expert revamps failing bars.
The channel currently airs reality series’ such as Ink Master Rivals, Tattoo Nightmares: Miami, dude food format Frankenfood and building series To Catch A Contractor.
The Guardian reported that Viacom’s Chief Executive, Philippe Dauman, said that he aims to overtake Channel 4 in the ratings, as a “first step” in building up the Channel 5 brand.
Dauman said: “Spike is one of our best performing networks and brands and I’m delighted audiences outside the US are going to be able to access and enjoy it for the first time. This launch has been made possible by our recent acquisition of Channel 5, which gives us ownership of a pipeline of quality factual content.
“Combined with Spike’s US content and targeted acquisitions it represents a powerful programme line-up that we are very confident will prove popular with British TV viewers.
“We believe this launch will establish a strong foundation for Spike launches in other countries.”
Viacom is also hoping to launch the channel on Virgin Media and Freesat and plans to use the UK launch as a stepping stone to further international launches in the future.