Viacom International Media Networks is beginning the international roll-out of its Spike brand with a UK launch set for spring 2015.
The channel will air via the Freeview digital terrestrial TV platform, with VIMN also looking to secure distribution for the channel on Virgin Media and on the UK’s DSAT platforms. It will air repeats of factual content from Channel 5 as well as programming from the U.S. cable net, such as Bar Rescue. The UK Spike will, like its American counterpart, skew male and also air acquired films, series and additional library content from other Viacom brands that appeals to adult viewers.
The new channel will be managed under VIMN UK’s ownership, with a channel manager to be appointed in the coming months, who will report to Channel 5 programming director Ben Frow.
“Spike is one of our best performing networks and brands and I’m delighted audiences outside the U.S. are going to be able to access and enjoy it for the first time,” said Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of Viacom, in a statement. “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 U.S. content and targeted acquisitions it represents a powerful program line-up that we are very confident will prove popular with British TV viewers.”
The company is positioning the UK launch as the first step towards making Spike its next global network. “We believe this launch will establish a strong foundation for Spike launches in other countries,” said Dauman.