Paramount Network

  (Redirected from Spike TV)

Paramount Network is an American basic cable television channel owned by the MTV Entertainment Group unit of ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. The network's headquarters are located at the Paramount Pictures studio lot in Los Angeles.

Paramount Network
Paramount Network.svg
TypeGeneral entertainment cable network
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, United States
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerMTV Entertainment Group
(ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks)
Key people
  • Chris McCarthy (President, Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks)
  • Tanya Giles (GM)[note 1]
  • Rob O’Neill (SVP, Programming & Promotion Strategy)[note 1]
  • Debbie Beiter (Senior Vice President, Operations and Production) [note 1]
Sister channels
LaunchedMarch 7, 1983; 38 years ago (1983-03-07)
Former names
  • The Nashville Network
  • The National Network
  • The New TNN
  • Spike TV
  • Spike
Available on most cable systemsVaries by cable provider
Rogers Cable (Canada)Channel 279
Seaside Communications (Canada)Channel 15
Dish NetworkChannel 241
DirecTVChannel 241
Channel 1241 (VOD)
Bell Satellite TV (Canada)Channel 628
Shaw Direct (Canada)Channel 268
Channel 584
DirecTV CaribbeanChannel 254
  • 4040 V / 29270 / 3/4
  • VCT 766 / Channel 170 (Canada)
  • (Transponder 17)
  • 4060 H / 29270 / 3/4
  • VCT 182 / Channel 530 (East)/930 (West)
  • (Transponder 18)
Astro (Malaysia)Channel 713 (HD)
Verizon FiOSChannel 54 (SD)
Channel 554 (HD)
U-verse TVChannel 145 (SD)
Channel 1145 (HD)
Optik TV (Canada)Channel 390 (HD East)
Channel 9390 (SD West)
VMedia (Canada)Channel 279 (SD)
Execulink Telecom (Canada)Channel 165 (SD)
Streaming media
DirecTV Stream, Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV, Philo, Sling TV

The channel was originally founded by a partnership between radio station WSM and Westinghouse Broadcasting as The Nashville Network (TNN) and began broadcasting March 7, 1983.[1][2] It initially featured programming catering towards the culture of the Southern United States, including country music, variety shows, outdoors programming, and motor racing coverage (such as NASCAR). TNN was purchased by the Gaylord Entertainment Company in 1983.[3] After Gaylord bought CMT in 1991, TNN's music programming was shifted to CMT, leaving TNN to focus on entertainment and lifestyle programming.

In 1995, TNN and CMT were acquired by Westinghouse, which was in turn acquired by Viacom in 1999. Under Viacom ownership, TNN began phasing out its existing, country-influenced programming, in favor of more off-network series, films, and sports entertainment programming targeted to a wider audience. It was renamed The National Network in September 2000, coinciding with the premiere of WWF Raw on the channel. At this point, Viacom described TNN as being a general entertainment channel appealing to Middle America. In August 2003, TNN relaunched as Spike TV, which targeted a young adult male audience. From June 2006, the network's programming had a more explicit focus on the action genre, while in 2010, the network would begin to shift towards a wider audience reach with an increased focus on reality series. This culminated with a final rebrand in 2015 to emphasize gender-balanced series (such as Lip Sync Battle) and a return to original scripted programming.

On January 18, 2018, Spike relaunched as Paramount Network, aiming to align the network with its namesake studio (which previously lent its name to the now-defunct United Paramount Network), and to position the network as the company's "flagship" outlet. On September 22, 2020, ViacomCBS announced that the network would rebrand as Paramount Movie Network in the future, relaunching it as a movie channel focusing primarily on theatrical and original made-for-TV films.[4] As of September 2018, approximately 80.24 million households in the United States receive Paramount Network.[5]


The Nashville Network (1983–2000)Edit

The Nashville Network first launched on March 7, 1983; it was dedicated to the culture and lifestyle of country music and the U.S. South.[6] It originally operated as a joint venture of WSM, Inc., at the time owned by National Life and Accident Insurance Company, and Group W Satellite Communications. TNN operated from the now-defunct Opryland USA theme park near Nashville, Tennessee. Country Music Television (CMT), founded by Glenn D. Daniels, beat TNN's launch by two days, robbing them of the claim of the "first country music cable television network." TNN's flagship shows included Nashville Now, The Statler Brothers Show, American Sports Cavalcade and Grand Ole Opry Live. Nashville Now and the Grand Ole Opry were broadcast live from Opryland USA.[7][8]

The Gaylord Entertainment Company purchased WSM, along with TNN and the Opryland properties, in the latter half of 1987. Much of TNN's programming (except for its sports) during the Gaylord era was originally produced by Opryland Productions, also owned by Gaylord Entertainment.[9] From 1983 to 1992, all of TNN's auto racing and motor sports coverage was produced by Diamond P Sports. Starting in 1993, TNN started having its NASCAR coverage produced by World Sports Enterprises, and the American Speed Association coverage produced by Group 5 Sports, while Diamond P continued to produce most of the rest of the racing coverage. Programming included variety shows, talk shows, game shows, outdoor shows (such as hunting and fishing), and lifestyle shows; all centered in some way around country music or the country style of living.[10]

Some of TNN's popular on-air talent included local Nashville media personalities Ralph Emery,[11] Dan Miller, Charlie Chase and Lorianne Crook, as well as established stars such as country music singer Bill Anderson and actresses Florence Henderson and Dinah Shore. By 1995, TNN was acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which had recently acquired CBS around that time; two years later, Westinghouse bought CMT, TNN's chief competitor. In 1998, the channel dropped its "The Nashville Network" moniker and shortened its official name to TNN. Ownership shifted to Viacom in the late 1990s after its acquisition of CBS Corporation, Westinghouse's successor.[7]

The National Network, the New TNN, and professional wrestling (2000–2003)Edit

In 1999, TNN began to downplay its previous country lifestyle programming to appeal to a wider demographic, including younger viewers; capitalizing on the success of RollerJam (a roller derby-inspired series with elements of professional wrestling), TNN reached a three-year deal to broadcast a weekly television series from the Philadelphia-based wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), which would air on Friday nights beginning in late-August 1999. Under the contract, ECW also agreed to revenue sharing with TNN for all of the promotion's events (including live shows and pay-per-views) and merchandising. TNN combined these two programs into a Friday-night block themed around extreme sports programming, alongside Motor Madness and Championship Bull Riding; a TNN executive described bull riding as being "the original extreme sport".[12][13][14][15]

In November 1999, TNN announced new programming and primetime theme blocks it planned to introduce in 2000, including a new, female-oriented Movie Monday, Action Wednesday, Friday Night Thrill Zone, Classic Country on Saturday nights, and TNN Outdoors on Sundays. The new schedule, along with new series such as the action drama 18 Wheels of Justice, collegiate bowling competition series Rockin' Bowl, reruns of the Western anthology Dead Man's Gun, and a new promotional campaign targeting younger viewers, were intended to introduce a broader audience to the network.[16] The ECW partnership was initially successful, with TNN reporting a 200% increase in young male viewership in the timeslot. Despite this, TNN gave ECW little promotion, choosing to focus more on promoting its other new programs, such as Rockin' Bowl and RollerJam.[12][13]

On September 25, 2000, TNN was folded into the MTV Networks division based in New York City, and was renamed The National Network. The rebranding coincided with major changes to the network's programming, including the network premiere of RAW Is Warthe flagship weekly program of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE)which moved to TNN from USA Network as part of a new contract with Viacom. As WWF programs were among USA Network's top programs, the move was considered a major coup for TNN. MTV Networks chairman Tom Freston described TNN as now being a general entertainment service, albeit one with a "sort of populist middle-America flavor" rather than "another network for New York or Los Angeles."[17][7][18]

Football also became more prominent on the network, as it began airing games of the original Arena Football League (AFL) with Eli Gold as an announcer. TNN was also one of three networks to air games of the ill-fated, WWF-backed XFL (along with NBC and UPN). As part of its contract, TNN had the rights to a late Sunday afternoon game each week except for the first week, when UPN aired the afternoon game instead. In 2001, TNN aired CBS Sports-produced coverage of the inaugural opening round game of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.[19] The opening round game would later move to ESPN in 2002.

In 2001, TNN added off-network sitcoms and dramas such as Diff'rent Strokes,[20] The Wonder Years,[21] The Rockford Files,[21] WKRP in Cincinnati,[21] Newhart, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, Miami Vice[21] and Taxi.[21][22] It also became the first channel to air reruns of MADtv. These moves went unnoticed for the most part, due to TNN's lack of popularity. By this time, all country-western programming had been purged from the network; some of The Nashville Network's former programming was picked up by CMT, while other classic TNN shows were picked up by Great American Country, including eventually the Grand Ole Opry, which was pushed off to CMT and eventually removed by Viacom after they did not renew the agreement to carry the series. In 2001, TNN began to market itself as "The New TNN", an inadvertent pleonasm in its full context.[23][24]

By late 2002, the channel had picked up more male-oriented shows, such as Baywatch, Monster Jam, the hidden camera game show Oblivious, Robot Wars Extreme Warriors, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Slamball.[25] This was done in an effort both to further distance itself from its former country music-based identity and to trumpet an increase in original programming.

Spike (2003–2018)Edit

Seeking to further distance itself from the TNN name to suit its current programming direction, Viacom announced in April 2003 that the network would be relaunched as Spike TV on June 16, 2003.[26] Promoted with the slogan "The First Network for Men", Viacom aimed to target young adult males aged 18–34 — a demographic they believed were being served insufficiently by other cable networks. Spike's launch programming would include a slate of new adult animation series such as Gary the Rat, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" (an adult-oriented revival of the former Nickelodeon series The Ren & Stimpy Show, led by its original creator John Kricfalusi), and Stripperella, as well as other new series such as Ride with Funkmaster Flex, joined by its recent acquisitions of CSI, Star Trek, and WWE Raw.[26] Also planned were interstitial segments on health, technology, and finance in collaboration with Men's Health, Stuff, and MarketWatch.[26]

Three days before the planned launch date, film director Spike Lee won a New York Supreme Court injunction preventing Viacom from using the name "Spike TV". Lee claimed that because of his well-known popularity in Hollywood, viewers would therefore assume that he was associated with the new channel.[27] Lee stated in court papers that: "The media description of this change of name, as well as comments made to me and my wife, confirmed what was obvious—that Spike TV referred to Spike Lee."[28][26] Spike Jones Jr., son of comic musician Spike Jones, became a party to the lawsuit as part of Viacom's defense to protect the rights to his father's name.[29]

Most of the new programming would premiere on the originally-planned date as a soft launch; at this time, the TNN name and logo was downplayed heavily in favor of the "First Network for Men" tagline. The suit was settled on July 8, 2003, in announcing the settlement, Lee admitted that he did not believe that the channel intentionally tried to trade on his name.[30] On July 28, 2003, it was announced that Spike TV would officially launch on August 11, 2003 — eight weeks later than initially scheduled. Its launch night programming featured two programs originally intended to air on June 16, including Party with Spike—a launch special filmed at the Playboy Mansion, and the premiere of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge—a comedic dub of the Japanese game show Takeshi's Castle.[31]

Spike programming, 2003–2006Edit

Alongside its launch programs, Spike scored some major coups in terms of its programming, receiving syndication rights to several Star Trek series (which were produced by another Viacom branch, Paramount Television), as well as most of the James Bond series of movies. After Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" was canceled, the channel started airing episodes of the original Ren & Stimpy series under the title Ren & Stimpy: The Classics. The Klasky Csupo production Immigrants was originally slated to run on Spike TV's animation block,[32] but this never materialized and the series was turned into a film instead. Also unaired was the John Leguizamo animated production Zilch & Zero.[33][34]

In 2003, Spike TV premiered The Joe Schmo Show, the finale of which led to the channel's highest ratings at the time; and the Spike Video Game Awards.

On January 17, 2005, Spike TV premiered The Ultimate Fighter, a reality competition series focusing on the Ultimate Fighting Championship—a mixed martial arts promotion. The success of The Ultimate Fighter led the UFC to expand its programming on Spike to include other series, such as UFC Unleashed, UFC Primetime and UFC All Access. The Ultimate Fighter aired on Spike for 14 seasons, ending its run on the network in 2011 after the announcement that Fox Sports had acquired the U.S. television rights to the UFC under a new, seven-year deal.[35][36]

In March 2005, Viacom announced that it would not renew its contract with WWE (formerly WWF) when it expired in September 2005. Spike's new president, Doug Herzog, stated that the network had planned to "expand its investments in original programming and new acquisitions for its core audience", including new scripted programming. The following month, it was announced that WWE Raw would return to USA Network.[37][38] Spike subsequently reached a deal with another wrestling promotion, TNA, which saw TNA Impact! premiere on October 1, 2005, in a Saturday night time slot.[39] It moved to Thursdays in April 2006, and expanded to two hours in October 2007. On March 8, 2010, Impact! moved to Monday nights, but later moved back to Thursdays after it suffered from decreased viewership in its new timeslot.[40] Later in the month, Spike TV debuted Game Head with Geoff Keighley, a weekly video game show, and later followed up with the short-lived Fresh Baked Videogames, making them both part of their "Slamming Saturday Night" lineup.

"Get More Action"Edit

Spike's logo, used from May 9, 2006, to March 2, 2015

In 2005, Viacom conducted research which found that Spike TV's new direction was alienating its target audience and advertisers. Word-of-mouth knowledge narrowly perceived Spike TV's programming as being predominantly "low-brow", violent, and reliant on sex appeal, rather than reflecting the wider variety of programming offered by the channel. These findings led Viacom to pursue a re-brand in an effort to clarify the network's focus. At its upfront presentations in 2006, Viacom unveiled a new logo for the channel (shortening its name to simply "Spike"), and the new slogan "Get More Action". The new brand was described as being "authentic" and "unapologetically" masculine, and emphasizing action as a core genre of programming for the network. The new branding launched alongside the premiere of Blade: The Series in June 2006. Spike also attracted advertisers with product placement opportunities in promos such as "Men of Action" (which featured homages and parodies of "classic action moments") and the "CSI Guys", which tied into its new programming direction.[41]

On September 5, 2006, Spike premiered the documentary film Metal of Honor: The Ironworkers of 9/11 by filmmaker Rachel Maguire, which profiled the ironworkers' efforts in the attempts for rescue and recovery following the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center site. The film proceeds through the ironworkers' dismantling of the fallen towers.[42] On October 10, 2006, Spike debuted the Scream Awards, the first awards show honoring horror, science fiction, fantasy and comic books.

In October 2007, Kevin Kay was appointed network president after serving as executive vice president and general manager of the channel for the previous two years.[43] The post had been vacant since December 2006.[44] Throughout the summer of 2007, starting on Father's Day (June 17), the channel launched its first public service campaign, the "True Dads" national outreach campaign, with former New York Yankees player Don Mattingly as spokesperson. This focused on fathers who demonstrated active roles in their children's lives, through public service announcements on the channel featuring both celebrity and ordinary fathers and websites such as Spike's own "True Dads" site, among other things.

In April 2008, Spike aired the commercial television premiere of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and became the first basic cable channel in the U.S. to air all six Star Wars movies. Viacom bid against NBC Universal and Turner for the rights to the entire Star Wars film series, which was worth up to $80 million, despite channels owned by each of the companies having previously aired at least part of the original trilogy. The same year, the channel began to broadcast a reality show based on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).[45] On the weekend of April 5 and 6, 2008, the channel aired the first three Star Wars films against the simultaneous TNT broadcast of all three Lord of the Rings films. More viewers watched the Star Wars broadcasts on Spike than watched the Lord of the Rings broadcasts on TNT.[46] On April 7, 2008, the channel acquired cable syndication rights for the sitcom Married... with Children[47] (the series would be shuffled between various Viacom-owned networks in subsequent years, from Comedy Central to TV Land to Nick at Nite). Five new unscripted series were picked up for the channel's summer 2008 lineup, including 1000 Ways To Die.[48]

In the fall of 2009, Spike broadcast live Australian rugby league semifinal games from the National Rugby League and also showed the grand final, as David Niu tried to bring professional rugby league (National Rugby League USA) to the United States.[49][50] On June 1, 2010, Spike launched into the first crowd-sourced pilot episode contest with Scripped, a web-based screenwriting community.[51] In this contest, Spike tested its ability to discover new talent from untested channels.

"Get Real"Edit

In 2011, Spike began to undergo a major shift in its original programming strategy, with a larger focus on reality series (exemplified by a new slogan, "Get Real", soft launched later that year). The changes were hailed by a new programming slate for the upcoming season, with series such as Bar Rescue, Car Boss, Coal, Ink Master, Repo Games, and other new unscripted pilots announced during its upfronts. Spike executives explained that they wanted to evolve the network's brand by targeting a broader audience of males 18–45 years old, and shifting away from overtly masculine imagery; they described the changes as making the channel more akin to Esquire magazine than Maxim. A promotional campaign emphasized adversity as a common theme in Spike's programming.[52][53][54][55]

In 2013, Bellator MMA made its network debut with the premiere of its eighth season; the now Viacom-owned mixed martial arts promotion previously aired on sibling channel MTV2.[56][57]

In September 2013, the long-running Fox series Cops moved to Spike[58] In the fall, kickboxing promotion Glory made its network debut with Glory 11: Chicago.[59] This was not Spike's first time broadcasting a kickboxing event as, in 2012, they partnered with K-1 to broadcast several events on their website.[60] The end of the year saw the Video Game Awards revamped and become known as VGX.[61] The event was held on December 7, 2013, on Spike's website.

It was announced in November 2014 that Impact Wrestling would air its last episode on Spike on December 24, 2014, and move to Destination America in 2015.[62] Later that year, it was announced that Spike would drop their video game award show.[63] Geoff Keighley would go on to create his own award show in the form of The Game Awards. In January 2015, following a similar deal made by NBC, Spike announced they would air monthly fight cards by the Haymon Boxing-created "Premier Boxing Champions".[64][65][66]

"The Ones to Watch"Edit

Final Spike logo used from March 3, 2015, to January 17, 2018, in the United States; Currently used by local versions in international markets.

During its upfronts on March 3, 2015, Spike unveiled a new logo and tagline, "The Ones to Watch".[67] The re-branding aimed to make the network more inclusive to women, emphasizing a focus on "big talent, engaging shows and hits that get people talking" and further expansions into scripted series. Alongside the miniseries Tut and the announcement of an expanded episode order for the series Lip Sync Battle (a spin-off of a segment from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), the network announced an output deal with Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions for a series of specials, Emergency Broadcast, an original drama co-created by Max Brooks, and Sweat Inc., a fitness-oriented reality series hosted by Jillian Michaels.[68][69][70]

With 2.2 million viewers, the series premiere of Lip Sync Battle on April 2, 2015, was the highest-rated non-scripted premiere in network history.[71] Likewise, Tut averaged 2.2 million viewers in its three nights, for a combined 11.4 million viewers.[72]

Paramount Network (2018–present)Edit

On February 9, 2017, Viacom announced that Spike TV would relaunch as Paramount Network in 2018 and move its headquarters to Paramount Pictures in Hollywood to give the network a closer association with the film studio. This was part of a restructuring plan by new Viacom CEO Bob Bakish to refocus the majority of its media business around six flagship brands, which included Paramount, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and MTV.[73][74][75] Spike signed off on the night of January 18, 2018 at around 8:59 p.m. ET after an airing of Pitch Perfect, leading to the network's relaunch as Paramount Network that was marked by a live, Michael Jackson-themed Lip Sync Battle special broadcast from the Dolby Theatre.[76] New original series announced in the first half of 2018 included the miniseries Waco and Yellowstone, along with American Woman and Heathers—two comedies originally slated for TV Land. The Shannara Chronicles, which moved to Spike for season 2 from MTV, was not renewed by Paramount Network.[77][78][79][80]

Paramount Network is being positioned as a "premium" basic cable network, similar to AMC and FX.[81] Network president Kevin Kay explained that Bakish wanted Viacom to have a "flagship" outlet for scripted programming, as opposed to making inefficient investments into them across individual channels. He added that Paramount Network's offerings would be distinguished from other "premium" basic cable networks by continuing to emphasize Middle America as a key viewer base. Even with its subsequent rebrandings, Paramount Network still had significant carriage strength and viewership in the Midwest and South due to its heritage as TNN. Kay argued that its initial slate of original dramas were not as "dark", citing the setting of Yellowstone as making it "brighter and a bit more blue sky than some of the things that are on premium cable TV now".[81]

In regards to the programs moved to Paramount Network from TV Land, American Woman was moved to take advantage of its prominent leads Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari, while Heathers was moved because, in Kay's opinion, the show was not appropriate for TV Land's target audience.[81] In June 2018, Heathers was dropped by Paramount Network and Viacom, citing network concerns over the content of the series in the wake of recent shootings in the U.S., such as the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[82] The series would eventually air on Paramount Network in October 2018 in an edited form, with two episodes dropped due to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.[83][84][85]

Paramount Network began a viral marketing campaign to promote its launch in December 2017. The campaign included a Times Square advertisement asking viewers to phone and email Paramount Network's chief marketing officer Niels Schuurmans to protest Spike's "firing", as well as a string of self-deprecating posts by the network's Twitter account about its history and programming (including that "My favorite number is 329 because it's the number of times Cops is on every night", "We had a show called The Joe Schmo Show. Apparently every decent show name was taken", and that "There's a reason all our early shows were CSI, UFC, TNA, MXC, UTI. No one around here knew how to read"). A network executive stated that the campaign was meant to represent a "public meltdown" by a fired employee. Spike additionally held a Facebook live streaming event on January 17, 2018, where users could vote on various ways a crew would deface a large model of the former Spike logo, culminating in its demolition.[86][87][88][89]

In May 2019, the Spike brand was relaunched in the U.S. as two streaming channels on Pluto TV, which was acquired by Viacom in March 2019. The relaunch consisted of a main Spike-branded channel and a second channel called "Spike Outdoors".[90]

Paramount Movie NetworkEdit

In early 2020, Paramount Network began to cut back on scripted series development as a cost-cutting move following the re-merger of Viacom and CBS as ViacomCBS, having dropped upcoming projects such as Emily in Paris (which was subsequently picked up by Netflix), and cancelling 68 Whiskey after a single season.[4] On September 11, 2020, it was announced that Bellator would move to CBS Sports Network in October 2020.[91] It would later move to Showtime in April 2021.[92]

On September 22, 2020, ViacomCBS president of Entertainment and Youth Brands Chris McCarthy told Variety that Paramount Network planned to relaunch as a movie channel "within the next year", to be tentatively known as Paramount Movie Network. However, no further updates have been given over a year later. The relaunched network will focus primarily on original made-for-TV films featuring major talent, with a plan to premiere 52 films per-year.[4] These films will largely be produced by Paramount Pictures and MTV Studios, with plans for co-productions with ViacomCBS Networks International properties such as Argentina's Telefe, Australia's Network 10, and the United Kingdom's Channel 5.[4]

The network will continue to carry at least one scripted series or miniseries per-quarter, including Yellowstone (albeit with episodes premiering in a different format), but will abandon non-scripted programming; Bar Rescue and Lip Sync Battle will be moved to another ViacomCBS network to be determined, while Ink Master was shifted to Paramount+. Wife Swap was cancelled.[4]

These changes mirror a similar shift in programming that McCarthy undertook at sister channel Comedy Central, which also dropped live-action series development in favor of television specials, original films, and a focus on adult animation.[4]


Paramount Network's current lineup consists of original series, feature films, and reruns of sitcoms (including Friends, Mom and Two and a Half Men). As Spike TV, male-oriented programs constituted the majority of the network's schedule upon its original re-launch in 2003. By 2011, Spike had shifted its programming towards reality series that were aimed at more broader audiences (such as Bar Rescue and Ink Master), and with its 2015 rebrand, the network attempted to add more "gender-balanced" programming.[69][70]

Paramount Network formerly carried combat sports, being the first basic cable home of mixed martial arts promotion the Ultimate Fighting Championship and airing the early seasons of The Ultimate Fighter. Other promotions and sports-related programming have included Glory kickboxing events; professional wrestling from Impact Wrestling, WWE, and Extreme Championship Wrestling; Premier Boxing Champions; and the ViacomCBS-owned Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing.


On October 15, 2005, Viacom acquired iFilm, which was initially launched in 1997. After acquiring the website for $49 million, it was eventually rebranded to and provided hosting of user-uploaded videos in a short-lived attempt to compete with YouTube (which Viacom had sued to remove user-generated uploads of its programming from), a strategy eventually abandoned to refocus as a general network site. The domain currently redirects to the Screen Junkies website.

During the era where they hosted user generated content,'s managers only approved videos pre-screened to meet their standards.[93] On January 18, 2018, was sunsetted, and viewers were redirected to the new Paramount Network site and domain.

International availabilityEdit


In April 1984, while as TNN, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the channel for carriage by Canadian cable and satellite television providers.[94] Following its re-branding as Spike TV, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters filed a complaint with the CRTC on behalf of Canwest Global, demanding the channel be removed from Canadian television providers. The CAB felt that its new general entertainment format would unduly compete with various Canadian-run specialty channels, arguing that there was overlap in its niche and its then-current schedule with Men TV (men's lifestyle), Space (Star Trek), sports channels (The Score (now Sportsnet 360) is the WWE's Canadian broadcast partner), Discovery Health (interstitial segments focusing on men's health, although the network did not air any full-length programs on the topic), along with the inexplicable naming of Report on Business Television and CTV Travel for reasons unknown.[95]

In January 2005, the CRTC dismissed the CAB's complaint, ruling that it provided insufficient evidence that Spike was directly competing with Canadian specialty channels. The CRTC ruled that Spike did not unduly compete with Men TV, since it was licensed to broadcast lifestyle programming oriented towards men (in contrast to Spike, which the CRTC classified as being a general entertainment channel targeting a male audience), and that the remaining allegations of overlap with domestic Canadian specialty channels represented only a minority of Spike's overall programming.[95][96]

Due to programming rights issues, programs which the channel does not hold rights to air outside of the U.S. are replaced with alternate programs.[97][98]

Czech RepublicEdit

In December 2020, ViacomCBS announced Prima Comedy Central will be rebranded as Paramount Network.[99] Paramount Network launched effectively on January 12, 2021.


In May 2018, Viacom announced that it would rebrand Paramount Channel in Spain under the Paramount Network name on June 10, 2018, marking Viacom's first property outside of the U.S. to adopt the brand. Paramount Channel in Spain had been among Viacom's most successful international properties. The channel adopted a similar general entertainment format to the U.S. version, with its launch lineup featuring the fifth season of Alaska y Mario (moving from MTV Spain), and a lineup of imported dramas and films.[100]


On March 16, 2019, Viacom rebranded the Italian version of Paramount Channel into Paramount Network.[101] On January 16, 2022, the Italian version of Paramount Network ceased existing.


On December 17, 2020, Paramount Channel in Hungary rebranded as the Paramount Network.[102]

United KingdomEdit

Paramount Network launched in the UK on July 4, 2018, it is operated by the Viacom-owned network Channel 5.[103] It is the second Paramount-branded property in that market; its domestic version of Comedy Central launched as the Paramount Channel in 1995, then was Paramount Comedy from 1997 until 2009, when it took the Comedy Central name. On January 7, 2020, it replaced the British version of Spike in its channel allotments on Freeview, cable, and satellite.[104]

Latin AmericaEdit

On April 14, 2020, ViacomCBS rebranded the Latin American version of Paramount Channel into Paramount Network.[105]


Viacom began to launch localized versions of Spike in 2015.

  • On April 15, 2015, a British version of Spike was launched; owned by Viacom International Media Networks Europe, it is operated as a sister digital terrestrial television channel to Channel 5, which Viacom had acquired the previous year. Its launch lineup primarily featured Spike's original programs and reruns from its parent network, acquired U.S. drama imports (such as Breaking Bad, Justified and The Walking Dead), along with Bellator MMA and the domestic MMA promotion BAMMA.[106] On 31 October 2017, the channel changed its name to 5Spike to better-signify its connection to Channel 5's other digital networks. On 7 January 2020, 5Spike was shut down, with its channel allotments and selected programs being assumed by the British version of Paramount Network.[104]
  • On August 18, 2015, Viacom announced that a Dutch version of Spike would launch in the Netherlands and Flanders. The channel began as a timeshare on the Dutch Nickelodeon channel, airing from 21:00 to 02:30 CET daily.[107] On December 12, 2016, Spike launched in the Netherlands as a 24-hour channel on Ziggo. Spike and Nickelodeon continued time-sharing in Flanders until January 6, 2021, when Nickelodeon became a 24-hour channel again.[108][109][110][111]
  • In July 2016, an Australian version of Spike was launched on Fetch TV.[112][113][114][115]
  • On December 1, 2016, a Hungarian version of the channel named RTL Spike was launched, via brand licensing and advertising sales agreements with the RTL Group.[116] On October 20, 2020, ViacomCBS announced the channel's closure, and the closure date was confirmed on November 23 that year. RTL Spike was shut down on January 12, 2021, and was replaced by TeenNick.[117][102]
  • On March 15, 2017, a Russian version of Spike was launched as a separate channel, airing alongside the local version of Paramount Channel.[118] This channel was shut down on June 1, 2021.
  • On October 22, 2017, an Italian version of Spike was launched in the country as a free-to-air channel, replacing Fine Living on Digital TV channel 49.[119] The channel, however, ceased broadcasting on January 16, 2022.


  1. ^ a b c In addition to oversight for Paramount Network, duties of the noted executives also include oversight of sister networks Comedy Central and TV Land.


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External linksEdit