2020: All change at Paramount Network and VH1

How will viewers be affected by the New Year shakeup for the ViacomCBS-owned Paramount Network UK, 5Spike and VH1?

Weeks after Channel 5's Director of Programmes, Ben Frow, was promoted to Director of Programmes across all Viacom UK channels, adding the likes of Paramount, MTV and Comedy Central to his Channel 5 remit, viewers will start seeing some changes across the extended family of channels in the next few weeks as the portfolio of channels and programmes shown on them is reviewed.

5Spike and Paramount
What's changing?
5Spike is being axed: An anomaly is due to be rectified with the effective merger of 5Spike and Paramount Network UK.

5Spike, formerly just 'Spike', was based on the US network of the same name, but in 2018, Spike US was rebranded Paramount Network. So in the UK, we ended up with both Spike and Paramount Network brands running side by side, but not for much longer...

From 7th January, most of 5Spike's programmes and channel slots will transfer to Paramount Network. This means if you are watching on Freeview, YouView, Sky or Virgin Media, you'll see Paramount Network on 5Spike's slot from that date.

Will Paramount's schedule be the same?
Effectively, the current version of Paramount Network UK ends on that date, with films distributed across other Channel 5 services, and US medical series House moving a new late afternoon slot on 5STAR.

As is often the case with UK versions of US channels - despite sharing the same branding and programme genre - they show very different programmes, and in line with the ViacomCBS vision for the UK channels, Channel 5 content will now be shared more widely on Paramount:

What's on the 'new' Paramount Network UK?
Regular programmes on the channel include:

  • The A-Team
  • Traffic Cops
  • Police Interceptors
  • Knight Rider
  • Car Crash TV

Where will I find Paramount from 7th January?

  • Freeview and YouView 31
  • Sky 150
  • Virgin 154
  • Freesat 132

As a knock-on effect, on Freeview and YouView, sister channel 5Select will move from channel 55 to channel 54 on the same day.

VH1 (UK and Ireland)
What's changing?
It's closing. The transition from a music channel for people who were a bit too old for MTV to a reality TV channel in the UK, following in the footsteps of the US channel, has failed.

The channel will close on 7th January 2020 across all platforms.

With back-to-back episodes of The Real Housewives of.. franchise, The Hills, Cruising with Jane McDonald and drag shows, the channel has been broadcasting a music free format since 2018, when the channel gave up its slot in the music section of Sky's channel guide in favour of a slot in the main entertainment section.

Most current VH1 programmes will still be seen on other UK channels, such as Channel 5 and MTV.

It hasn't yet been confirmed what will happen to VH1's current slot.

As for VH1's seasonal channel VH1 Christmas, that will revert back to MTV Rocks, the usual occupier of that channel slot.