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March 30, 2015

VIMN To Launch Spike UK On April 15th; Picks Up UK Rights To ‘Olympus’, ‘Justified’, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ & More


Patrick Munn / TV Wise

Viacom has firmed up the launch plans for new channel Spike UK.

A local version of the US network, Spike UK will launch on range of platforms including Freeview (channel 31), Sky (EPG slot 160) and Freesat (channel 141). In making the announcement, Viacom International Media Networks also revealed the content line-up for the channel’s launch, which will include a combination of US acquisition’s and local commissions.

“Spike is 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”, said Ben Frow, Channel 5’s Programme Director, whose editorial team will oversee commissioning, scheduling and acquisitions for Spike UK. “I can’t wait to see our viewers embrace this exhilarating new channel.”

On the acquisitions side of things, the channel has secured the UK rights to Breaking Bad, Justified andSons Of Anarchy – three shows which have never aired in their entirety on UK television after being dropped by their original UK broadcaster Channel 5 (Spike UK’s sister channel). In addition, they have secured the free-to-air rights to AMC’s The Walking Dead (first run rights are held by FOX UK).

In addition, Spike UK has also taken the exclusive first run rights to Syfy’s upcoming drama series Olympus. The 13 episode drama tells the story of how a few brave men and women banished the Gods to the realm of the unconscious – a place they called the Underworld or the Kingdom of Hades. The series’ cast includes Matt Frewer (Orphan Black), Sonita Henry (Star Trek), Cas Anvar (The Expanse) and Graham Shiels (Thor: Dark World).

Elsewhere, Spike UK will have a wealth of UK originals such as Tattoo Disasters UK and the Vinnie Jones fronted Police Interceptors Unleashed. Lip Sync Battle, hosted by LL Cool J, will also air on the channel, as well as repeat runs of a number of Channel 5 factual productions. Other key programmes include Fail Army, Bellator MMA, Catch a Contractor and Frankenfood.