Five (TV channel)

Infobox TV channel
name = Five
logosize = 200px
logofile = Five logo.svg
logoalt = Five logo
launch = start date|1997|3|30|df=yes
picture format = 576i (SDTV 16:9, 4:3)
share = 4.6%

share as of = June 2008
share source = []
owner = Channel 5 Broadcasting
(RTL Group)
country = United Kingdom
former names = Channel 5 (1997-2002)
sister names = Fiver,
Five US
web = []
terr serv 1 = Analogue
terr chan 1 = Normally tuned to 5 (Not in Whitehaven and Copeland)
terr serv 2 = Freeview
terr chan 2 = Channel 5
sat serv 1 = Sky Digital
sat chan 1 = Channel 105
cable serv 1 = Virgin Media
cable chan 1 = Channel 105
adsl serv 1 = Tiscali TV
adsl chan 1 = Channel 5

Five is a television channel that broadcasts in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1997, it is the fifth and final national terrestrial analogue television channel to launch. Originally called Channel 5, the station rebranded itself as Five in 2002.


Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited (as of 2006, still the legal name of the company, though it now trades exclusively as "five") was licensed by the UK Government in 1995 after a bidding process that lasted from 1993 and throughout 1994. The initial round of bidders, which included a network of city-TV stations planned by Thames Television, was rejected outright and the Independent Television Commission contemplated not awarding the licence at all.

The difficulty with the project lay in use of television broadcast frequencies that had been allocated to RF outputs from domestic video recorders. To achieve national coverage, large numbers of domestic video recorders (which output at a nearby frequency) had to be retuned or fitted with a filter, at the bidding company's expense.

The project was revived in mid 1994 when the Independent Television Commission re-advertised the franchise. Tom McGrath, then-president of Time Warner International Broadcasting, put together a revised frequency plan with NTL and consulting engineer Ellis Griffiths, involving less re-tuning and greater signal coverage. Lord (Clive) Hollick, then CEO of Meridian Broadcasting (later United News & Media, and now UBM) took up the project as lead investor as UK law prohibited Time Warner from owning more than 25%. Pearson Television, who by now owned original licence bidders Thames Television, also came on board. Ironically, when McGrath left to become President of Paramount, Time Warner dropped out of the project and was replaced by CLT (known in the UK for Radio Luxembourg). Pearson Television and CLT later merged, becoming RTL Group who, as of 2006, control the network, after buying UBM's share. After Holleck became involved, he and McGrath brought on board Greg Dyke (later Director-General of the BBC) to be the interim CEO during the application and launch phase of the project.


"Give me 5!" the Pre-launch hype

Wolf Olins and Saatchi & Saatchi were the main companies behind the pre-launch advertising campaign: "Give Me 5".cite web|url=|title=Channel 5Give me five|accessdate=2007-07-21|publisher=Wold Olins|format=pdf] The channel would be both modern and mainstream. The "5" logo (a numeric "5" within a circle) and "candy strip" (a bar of colours) was used, and an attempt was made to establish a collection of "C5 faces"; hence through the spring of 1997, billboards of Jack Docherty were displayed, along with other unknown characters.

However, the main issue around the pre-launch hype was the retuning of thousands of video recorders so that viewers could actually view the channel. The British frequency plan was designed for four channels; Channel 5 could be squeezed into the allocated frequencies that became vacant, however in order to be distributed broadly like its opposition, a clumsy re-wiring process had to take place. It gave a somewhat farcical impression to its future viewers. It also created confusion as to where the channel could be viewed, simply because in some regions of the country it was not (and in some places still is not) possible for the channel to be broadcast; this is due to the fact the channel could cause interference with French networks.

A series of pre-launch screens were displayed on the frequencies Channel 5 would begin broadcasting on in the months before launch as well, these included:

* A local "give me 5" screen that was broadcast in Croydon on 26 January 1997. It gave various transmitter information and numbers to call for viewers with difficulty.

* On 25 February 1997 a fresh "wavy flag" design was broadcast, displaying similar information as the previous screen. It would remain for six and a half minutes, before the three and a half minute long trailer was distributed. This screen was altered accordingly to the area where it was shown.

* The "give me 5" trailer (shown between 25 February and 22 March 1997) featured a collection of previews, it told the viewers what to expect from the UK's newest channel:
** "Give me action" England's World Cup Qualify against Poland.
** "Give me News" Kirsty Young changes the face of news reporting.
** "Give me kids stuff" a preview of Channel 5's children's entertainment output.

* On 26 March an animated version of the channel 5 logo was broadcast.In the last week before launch, the Spice Girls featured in a three second promotional advert saying: "Channel 5, Easter Sunday, 6pm!"

After an exhaustive re-tuning system, 65% of the population could view the channel by launch night.Fact|date=July 2007

The launch

The Spice Girls launched the channel with a re-written version of the 60s hit "5-4-3-2-1" song on Sunday 30 March 1997 at 6:00 pm. Presenters Tim Vine and Julia Bradbury introduced the nation to the UK's fifth free terrestrial network with half an hour of previews, given the title as "Give me 5!".

The rest of the Channel 5 launch night schedule, along with the official viewing figures were as follows: [cite web|url=|title=Channel 5||accessdate=2008-02-11]
* 18.30: "Family Affairs" - The first episode of Channel 5's very own soap "(1.72 million viewers). "
* 19.00: "Two Little Boys" - A one-off documentary, written and presented by David Aaronovitch, following the childhoods and early careers of then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom John Major and Leader of the Opposition Tony Blair "(0.68 million viewers)."
* 20.00: "Hospital!" - a one-off comedy "(1.12 million)." []
* 21.00: "Beyond Fear" - a one-off drama "(1.70 million)."
* 22.30 : "The Jack Docherty Show" - 5's very own five nights a week chat show "(1.16 million)."
* 23.10: "The Comedy Store Special" - Stand-up comedy from Dylan Moran and interviews with comedians "(0.73 million)."
* 23.40: "Turnstyle" - Sports preview show "(0.49 million)"
* 00.10: "Live and Dangerous" - Channel 5's all night sports strand "(0.08 million)"
* 05.30: "Give me 5!" - Another chance to see the Spice Girls launch the channel "(0.03 million)"

2.49 million tuned in to see Britain's fifth free network launch - a figure higher than the launch of Channel 4 15 years earlier.

The Re-launch

On Monday 16 September 2002, Channel 5 re-branded to Five, in a multi million pound re-launch. It was an attempt to shake off the unsavory reputation that the channel picked up, due to its cumulating risqué output of the past. The project was directed by Trevor Beattie. The Director of marketing was David Pullin, who said: cquote|This campaign set out to achieve three key objectives: to clarify the channel's creative strategy; to refresh the channel's on-screen identity; and to address the gap between the common perceptions of Five and the new reality of our programming - stimulating viewers' reappraisal of Five's programmes and brand.Channel 5 was a name; 'Five' is a brand. 'Five' as a brand reflects the evolution the channel is undergoing in programming and in becoming a more confident and distinctive viewer proposition.

Three consultancies were selected to assist the marketing scheme that was devised by Pullen and his team; WalkerBannisterBuss, design agency Spin and advertising company TBWALondon; who all worked within Five's marketing department.

Rumoured merger

On 27 February 2004 it was reported that Five and Channel 4 were discussing a possible merger; this was widely seen as a potential upset for Channel 4's pride. Some comics joked that the merged company should call itself "Chanel 9" after the spoof foreign network on "The Fast Show". Channel 4 and Five announced in November of that year that merger plans were being called off. On 20 July 2005, RTL Group paid £247.6 million for United Business Media's 35.4% stake in the channel. The acquisition was approved on 26 August 2005.

Multi-channel strategy

British television has undergone a lot of change since Five's launch with the huge growth in digital television. (See "Digital television in the United Kingdom").

On 18 November 2005, it was announced that Five had bought a stake in DTT's pay-TV operator, Top Up TV. It was said that the investment may lead to the development of new free and pay services on DTT, and other platforms. [cite press release |publisher=RTL Group |date=2005-11-18 |url= |title=RTL Group announces strategic relationship between Five and Top UP TV |accessdate=2006-09-04]

Following this, Five launched two new digital TV channels in autumn 2006 on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media:cite news|title=Five unveils digital TV channels|work=BBC News|url=|publisher=BBC News|date=2006-06-05|accessdate=2006-10-12]
* Fiver (originally Five Life), launched on 15 October 2006, providing pre-school shows under the milkshake! banner as well as drama, films, soaps, popular factual and lifestyle shows aimed at women.
* Five US, launched on 16 October 2006, offering drama, films, sport, comedy and youth programming from across the Atlantic.

Spin-offs from the broadcaster's existing hits also air on the new outlets. Five HD was trialled on DTT in the London area, and would be a full time channel in the future. Presumably, initial launch would be on cable & satellite.

The channels use Digital Terrestrial space that was previously occupied by Top Up TV's channels, but viewers will not require a Top Up TV subscription, or pay extra to receive the new channels. The channels will be funded by a "substantial additional investment" from the broadcaster's parent company RTL.

Broadcasting and reception

The British frequency plan had only allowed for four channels to be transmitted over the whole of the UK using analogue terrestrial transmitters. The ITC had identified that UHF channels 35 and 37 could provide coverage of around 70% of the UK population. However, these channels were used by many domestic video recorders for RF connection to television sets. Before the channel could launch on Easter Sunday 1997 the broadcaster had to provide over-the-phone instructions or visit any home that complained to retune the video recorder or fit a filter to completely block the Channel 5 signal.

However, for many transmitters channels 35 and 37 were 'out of group', which meant that the roof-top receiving aerials were specifically designed to filter out Channel 5's broadcasts. Many people either could not receive the channel at all, or required a new aerial. The broadcaster has added to the transmitters to improve the analogue terrestrial coverage since that time. The channel was also provided on the analogue Astra/BSkyB service, which enabled people outside the terrestrial reception areas to receive it via a satellite dish.

Unlike the other four analogue British television channels, the channel cannot be received via analogue terrestrial broadcasts in many areas, including some parts of the south coast of England, where the signal would otherwise interfere with signals from television stations in France, many areas of North East England, especially around the major Tyne & Wear conurbation, many areas in Scotland, most of Wales and parts of Cumbria. The channel is available on all digital platforms (Sky Digital satellite, Tiscali TV IPTV and Freeview digital terrestrial, and also most cable operators).

The channel was the first analogue network in the UK to use a permanent digital on-screen graphic, which was unpopular with the viewing public and removed altogether on 16 September 2002. [cite web|title=Channel 5 is Five|url=|date=2006-06-05|accessdate=2006-10-19] But the channel's logo then returned to the screen on 11 October 2007 to co-incide with the forthcoming launch of Five's new digital channels Five Life (now known as Fiver) and Five US.

Unlike the other UK terrestrial channels, Five is not available on cable, MMDS or digital satellite in the Republic of Ireland, the first such service not to be available in The Irish Republic - although its terrestrial signal can be received in areas bordering Northern Ireland, or coastal areas close to Wales.

Five's annual audience shares (1997ndash2006)

Below is the official audience shares in percent for Five since 1997. Generally, Channel 4's audience share lingers around the 10% margin, and BBC One and ITV's share lingers around 20%-30%.

Audience shares were at their lowest in the channel's first year, but almost doubled in the second year, and continued to increase until reaching a peak of 6.6% in 2004 (the eighth year). Two years later, however, the audience share had slumped to less than 5%.



In 1997, the channel's daytime line-up, that included the unsuccessful Espresso, was pulling in less than 100,000 viewers. Cheap American imports filled much of the channel's schedule, and early evenings were dominated by lifestyle, nature and cookery shows, before the main evening news at half eight presented by Kirsty Young; the informal presentation style was something the programme was praised for. These evening programmes were moulded round the 9'0 clock film, that went from big budget productions to cheaper, made-for-tv movies.Meanwhile Family Affairs was watched by just 500,000 people on average. Weeknight were originally filled with comedy shows such as Bring Me the Head of Light Entertainment, Tibs & Fibs, The Comedy Store, and We Know Where You Live.

In 1998 the channel began to show more risqué late-night programmes such as Compromising Situations and Hotline on Wednesday and Thursday nights respectively, along with the controversially explicit Sex and Shopping series that began in October 1998.

In 1999 there was a large increase in adult entertainment shown on the channel; programmes included: UK Raw, European Blue Review, Red Shoe Diaries and Love Street, and gave the channel a distinct reputation for being home to hours of pornography. [ Off the Telly] ]

Only the adult entertainment, football matches, and films pulled channel 5's ratings up in its late-nineties days, nevertheless the then programming director Dawn Airey still stressed that the channel was about "more than just films, football and fucking!", though this quote is still often misquoted as a description of the channel's programming strategy rather than as a denial of that strategy. [cite web|url=,6903,389548,00.html|title=Wearing nothing but Channel No 5 - Focus - The Observer|accessdate=2007-05-04]

As the broadcaster entered the 2000s, positive changes were made with pleasing results for the channel. The adult entertainment was scaled back, and reality shows such as Naked Jungle and The Mole proved popular. However other reality shows such as touch the truck and jailbreak were less successful. Some adult entertainment was still present, however combining the porn with football, or the latter with a film often helped to lift the channel's audience share greatly.

The channel secured the rights to Home and Away in 2000, that helped boost early evening viewing figures, and after the channel re-branded as "five" in a multi-million advertising campaign, "Family Affairs" was dropped on 30 December 2005. The defunct soap's low ratings freed up to £10 million for other programmes.

Since 2002, the broadcaster has pursued an aggressive acquisition strategy, and now screens several of the highest-rating American dramas, including "Grey's Anatomy" (second run rights), all three "CSI" franchises, "House", three of the "Law & Order" franchises, "Shark" and "Prison Break" (later lost to Sky1). The channel also poached talk-show host Trisha Goddard from ITV to shore up its daytime schedule [cite news|first=Tom|last=Bishop|title=End of the Affairs for Five soap|work=BBC News|url=|date=2005-12-30|accessdate=2006-10-12] and Neighbours after a bidding war with other broadcasters.As a public service broadcaster, Five is required to show educational programmes, including some moderately successful documentaries, such as the "Hidden Lives" series. Documentaries on art, mainly presented by Tim Marlow, have also been well received. In 2005 Five acquired another public service fig leaf - the rights to the annual Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Unfortunately for five, its audience share has recently been falling again, and the channel doesn't seem close to fulfiling its promise set on opening night, to attract six million viewers at any one time.


Five screened the cult prison drama "Prisoner Cell Block H", running all 692 episodes between April 1997 and February 2001 and also revived another Australian soap, "Sons and Daughters", running all 972 episodes between 1998 and 2005. In addition, the channel showed two popular American soap operas "Sunset Beach" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" every weekday morning with an omnibus edition of "Sunset Beach" every Saturday from 1998 to 2001. After the end of "Sunset Beach" in 1999, the remaining episodes were screened until early 2000. The channel replaced it with another soap opera popular in America "Days of our Lives", though after poor ratings it was removed from weekday morning schedules in 2002. Soon after this, "The Bold and the Beautiful" also lost its place in the weekday morning schedules and as of 2007 the morning schedule does not contain a soap opera.

Another popular programme was the New Zealand teenage futuristic drama series "The Tribe" which was screened in its entire run of five seasons from 1999 to 2003. After the end of each season, episodes were generally rerun on weekday mornings in the summer holidays. After the end of the fifth season, there were plans for a sixth season which have not materialized. Five also screened a couple of the other programmes from the production company Cloud 9, the co-produced "Atlantis High" in 2001 and "The Tribe" spin-off "The New Tomorrow" in 2005; so far both have lasted only one season.

Five obtained the rights for the Australian soap opera "Home and Away" in 2000, (however it couldn't show the soap until 12 months after ITV had stopped showing it itself). It also gained the rights to the music show "" both in a bidding war with ITV, though it failed in a bid to buy terrestrial rights for "The Simpsons", formerly screened on BBC2, which was purchased by Channel 4. Five later dropped plans to revive "CD:UK". A special documentary was created to promote the soap moving to the channel. It was an hour long recap episode, previously unseen in Australia, but aired in Ireland as well, on RTÉ. Both regions aired the hour long show from 6:00pm-7:00pm on 15 July 2001, a day before the new episodes began. Actresses Kate Ritchie (Sally Fletcher), Ada Nicodemou (Leah Patterson Baker) and Kimberley Cooper (Gypsy Nash) were the only members of the cast to appear.

The format rights for a UK version of "The Mole" were acquired; the BBC had wanted them, and this series was well received. The website announced that The Mole beat "The Crystal Maze" to win its first reader poll to find the best UK gameshow of all time. Five also screened the popular game show "Fort Boyard" from 1998 to 2002. In 2003, Five acquired the rights to the cult show "Robot Wars", previously shown on BBC2, though the show ended soon after this, and repeats of the previous series' went out on Sky1 in late 2006.

In "Make Me a Supermodel", a reality show, contestants try to win a contract with the Select Modelling Agency. The format has had two series, and the second series was also featured on Five Life. Another reality TV programme is "Trust Me, I'm A...", which features celebrities in different occupations. This cycle has had two incarnations to date: "Trust Me, I'm A Holiday Rep" and "Trust Me, I'm A Beauty Therapist".

On 18 May 2007, Five acquired the rights to Australian soap opera "Neighbours", previously screened on BBC One, after outbidding ITV. This was the second time the two UK networks have fought over an Australian soap. Back in 2000, Five won the rights over ITV to air "Home and Away" (another popular Australian soap) when ITV's contract with "Home and Away" ended.

On the same day that it announced the winning of the rights to show "Neighbours", the channel announced it would launch a new game show called "Payday", a brand new primetime weekday quiz that gives eight players the chance of winning one of their fellow contestants' annual salaries. Excited about the new prime-time quiz show, the show itself did not meet expectations and received hardly any press attention, equalling in a lack of people watching the show. Ironically, from 16 July 2007, a format in a similar vein called "Win My Wage", presented by Nick Hancock, was screened on Channel 4 in the "Deal or No Deal" slot while it took a summer break. Although viewing figures are reportedly slightly lower than the usual average for that time of day, the format seems to have had more early success in its teatime slot than its peaktime counterpart on Five.


In the early days, Five's morning schedules were clogged with American imports such as the soaps "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "Days of our Lives". These gathered only small audiences, and the rest of the early morning output was not any more successful in the ratings. Shows like "Espresso" and "Exclusive" failed to achieve any success, shared too by the American talk show "Leeza".

In 2003 however, there were signs of the channel attempting to move upmarket; its morning output was aggressively developed to steal viewers away from its competitors. Terry Wogan and Gaby Roslin arrived to host the morning talk show "The Terry and Gaby Show". The show only lasted a year, failing to attract viewers.

In 2004, Five's daytime scheduling was re-crafted once more. After the popular children's block programming show "Milkshake!", the channel switched to "The Wright Stuff", a debate format with celebrity guests on a panel debating in front of a small audience. This was followed by British talk show host Trisha Goddard hosting her new show on Five, (after she left ITV in 2003). At 11.30 "Five News" began, normally presented by John Suchet, Helen Fospero or Kirsty Young, though Young has now left the channel, making her last broadcast in August 2007. She was replaced by Natasha Kaplinsky, who began in January 2008, having joined the channel from the BBC.

Five News was followed by a repeat of the previous night's episode of "Home and Away" at 12.00 until the show was moved to 2.15. Until recently, at 12.30 the station would screen its popular quiz show "BrainTeaser" which was presented by Alex Lovell. After four years though, "Brainteaser" has been withdrawn, following the revelation that production staff were faking winners on the programme's premium rate call-in competition. In the afternoon the channel usually screened two made-for-TV movies, mostly American, known as "Five's Afternoon Movie" section.

From 2008, the station became the British home for Australian soap "Neighbours", the BBC having lost screening rights. ITV lost out on acquiring rights for the show, which is made by FremantleMedia Australia (which is also owned by RTL, the owners of Five).


Lifestyle programmes form a major part of Five's schedule. This includes property shows, such as "House Doctor", presented by Ann Maurice, "Build A New Life In The Country" and "How Not to Decorate", presented by Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan. Other lifestyle shows include "Diet Doctors", "Colin & Justin's Wedding Belles", and "The Hotel Inspector".

Children and teenagers

Five's pre-school programming block "Milkshake!" is shown from 6:00 to 9:00 am each day. The block has a number of presenters, including Eddie Matthews and Naomi Wilkinson, and features a range of pre-school programming, including "Fifi & the Flowertots". "Peppa Pig" and "Hi-5". Until recently, the channel also had a block called "Shake!" at weekends, which was aimed at an older audience. However, Five recently removed the "Shake!" block from its schedules, as Neighbours is taking up the Saturday slot. [cite web|url=|title=Five drops Shake block : ToyNews|accessdate=2007-05-04]

Five has purchased a "Toonami" branded block from Turner to start later in the year. [cite web|url=|title=Licence Details For Toonami |accessdate=2007-05-04]

Drama and comedy

Among Five's most popular programmes are its acquired dramas, including ', and also ', ', Charmed, "Criminal Minds", "House", "Law & Order", ', "", "NCIS", "Grey's Anatomy", "Prison Break", "Big Love" and "The Shield". The second and final season of "Friends" spin-off "Joey" [cite web|url=|title=FRIENDS - JOEY, CANCELLED|accessdate=2007-05-04] "Two and a Half Men", "Everybody Hates Chris", "Becker" and "Out of Practice" also air on the channel.

In 2006 the channel showed a commissioned drama, "Tripping Over" (a co-production with Network Ten), which has been given the green light for a second series in 2007. Five also screened "Perfect Day", a commissioned British drama, in 2005. The success of this one-off drama led to the commissioning of a prequel and a sequel, "Perfect Day: The Millennium" and "Perfect Day: The Funeral", which were shown in 2006. British sitcoms "Suburban Shootout" and "Respectable", and sketch show "Swinging" have also appeared.

In 2007, Five started an advertising campaigns for its most popular dramas, including the second seasons of "Prison Break" and "Grey's Anatomy". Five also managed to acquire latest acquisitions "Dirt", "Californication" and "30 Rock" for not only its regular channel but for Five US as well. Additional shows include "Numb3rs", ', ', ', "House", "Law & Order", ' and "".



Late-night sports programming has been a feature of the channel since its original launch, especially focusing on live or short-delay coverage of major North American sports. Most notably, the channel has covered Major League Baseball games, both regular season and playoffs since its first week on air. With the conclusion of "Family Affairs", Five's MLB baseball coverage is the longest continuously run programme on the channel. Jonathan Gould is the host, with former Great Britain national team player Josh Chetwynd as the in-studio analyst.

Until 2004, it also covered the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League; following the lost 2004-05 season, the primary broadcast rights passed to NASN. However, since 2006-07, Five has relaunched its coverage with a weekly NHL game on short-delay along with highlights of other action from around the league.

Five has also acquired American football and basketball coverage in the wake of Channel 4 dropping them. In 2007, five renewed its NFL coverage with a 2-year deal to screen Monday Night Football and NBC Sunday Night Football live (the latter coverage begins once the MLB Playoffs and World Series end). Nat Coombs hosts and Mike Carlson, a former college-football player, is the studio analyst, with game commentary taken from the American broadcasters. Sky Sports simulcasts these games with its own production, while the BBC holds rights to other NFL coverage. The NBA hosts are Mark Webster and Andre Alleyne, the latter of whom took over as analyst from former British NBA star John Amaechi. It generally follows the model of Five's NHL coverage, a single midweek game either live or on short-delay, plus a review of the previous week's action. The coverage of both sports has included forays into the NCAA scene - notably the Rose Bowl and the NCAA Basketball Tournament, even the Final Four. Currently, NASN broadcasts many of the college sports.

Five shows a mix of European and international club football, notably weekly matches or highlights from the Netherlands Eredivisie, Portugal's SuperLiga, Primera División Argentina and Copa Libertadores from South America. They acquired the exclusive live rights to the Italian Serie A, 2007/8 season, but lost rights the following season. Five usually show live early-round matches from the UEFA Cup when British teams are involved; the package is not centralized and thus coverage depends on which teams Five can secure the rights to. ITV Sport holds exclusive rights for the forthcoming season from the quarterfinals onwards, regardless of which teams get that far but Five will take over the broadcasting of these games next season.

In 2007, the channel resumed coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) with a match between Toronto FC and Los Angeles Galaxy on 4 August 2007; the match was expected to be (but was not) David Beckham's competitive debut as a Galaxy player. In the past, the channel has shown other MLS matches on tape delay or as highlights, generally in the same manner as its coverage of European domestic leagues (excluding Serie A). MLS coverage used to include David Beckham's Soccer USA, a show presented by Tim Lovejoy on Wednesdays at 7:15pm during the season to show highlights of the week's matches, funny moments and also interviews with David Beckham on his latest match. Other guests make appearances from time-to-time. The show will not return.

In 2005 Five began highlights coverage of all of England's test and one-day cricket home matches. This followed a period of much publicised success for the English cricket team and when the exclusive live rights to home England matches were controversially awarded to Sky Sports, Five was a surprise choice to pick up the highlights in the light of Channel 4's respected coverage and the BBC's previous interest (the BBC did acquire exclusive radio rights). Prior to Channel 4, the BBC had long held the rights and Five were newcomers to cricket, but the coverage has taken up where Channel 4 left off in its coverage (with the help of production company Sunset + Vine) The new show also secured former Channel 4 commentators such as Simon Hughes, Geoffrey Boycott and the anchor of Channel 4's coverage Mark Nicholas to offer expert analysis on the day's play. "Cricket on Five" (which shows daily highlights of England's matches) airs at 7:15 pm and has become extremely popular with cricket fans. Its theme tune is "Shine" by Shannon Noll.

The channel has also covered motorsports, most notably Moto GP from 2000 to 2002 showing every race live before rights were snapped up by the BBC. Currently, Five hold rights to show weekly highlights from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

For a brief time, Five showed professional wrestling in the form of the WCW Worldwide show between Summer 1999 and March 2001, when the company was purchased by World Wrestling Entertainment, and ceased to produce any more shows.

Golf coverage consists of weekly highlights from the PGA Tour, excluding majors.

On 18 February 2008, Five showed full live coverage of the 2008 NBA All-Star Game.

Participation TV

"Quiz Call" is broadcast simultaneously on Five, Fiver and Five US on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between around 00:00 and 04:00/04:30.

The phone-in quiz show invites viewers to play along for a chance to win cash prizes in return for solving on-screen puzzles. Entrants must be aged eighteen or over to participate and each call and SMS text is charged whether an entrant successfully gets through to the show or not.

Past and present branding



* The original "Five" logo was a numeric "5" within a circle, sometimes accompanied by "candy stripes" of five colours (an idea based around the colour bars used by vision engineers to monitor picture output). It was the channel's corporate logo from the launch of 1997, up until the re-brand of 2002; of which the logo was removed. Between the years of 1997-2002, Five was the only UK terrestrial channel to have stapled to all of its programmes a DOG (Digital on-screen graphic) in the left hand corner; it was the logo. For the channel's five years as "Channel 5" the logo was a permanent fixture, however it was immediately hated by its viewers. On 14 April 1997, teletext's logo poll specifically for five, took place. Teletext reported that 70% of viewers were in favour of the logo to be removed from the screen. Channel 5 however, refused to remove it; though did state since launch, the DOG had been toned down. Channel 5 explained their reasons for keeping the DOG on screen, in an interview on the 30 March 1997, they explained that:

cquote| [Channel 5's] candy stripes are intended to join the Nike tick, the Levi's tab and the three Adidas stripes as signifiers of belonging... Brand identity is the new holy grail of marketing... Product recognition is the winning move in the new consumer system. Channel 5 is being sold like a car or a running shoe. Not surprisingly it will be the first of our terrestrial channels to wear its own label on the outside... "Consumers are very brand-conscious these days..." "...and we are definitely describing ourselves as a very modern channel. It would be curious to launch an old-fashioned channel without an image in the era of Next, Levi's and Nike.Fact|date=July 2007

= Break bumpers =

* "Channel 5" had two break bumpers; the original was a shorter version of the channel's "candy stripe", it was later replaced with a longer and thinner version.



* Five's second logo comprised of a lowercase "five"Despite being hated in its early days, Five's DOG returned on 11 October 2007, in the form of its latest logo. However, it does not appear during the channel's late-night sports shows. When Neighbours moved to Five, the DOG was displayed upside-down for a few days as a reference to Australia being "down under"

2006 idents

* On 23 January 2006, Five launched idents based on human emotions. Instead of displaying the channel's logo, each ident displays a word that is suggestive of what is being shown (using Five's current branding style), such as 'love', 'hope', 'rush' and 'live'. Prior to the re-launch Five released a preview of the "love" ident. The ident features sperm with the word "love" forming from an egg. However as of January 2007, some of the idents have been re-edited with the emotion names replaced with the word "Five" yet again.

* Five aired new Christmas idents, supporting the Christmas homeless appeal in the UK. Starting on the 11 December, the idents feature a forest, a post box, a narrowboat and a train, culminating with a final cityscape all decorated with Christmas lights. As well as the word 'five' the word 'give' also appears in these unique idents.

* Five celebrated its tenth birthday in 2007, from 26 March to 30 March. Special idents were shown with the slogan Five is Ten to celebrate ten years since the channel's launch in 1997.

* A special Neighbours ident was created to promote the soap moving to the channel. The ident features Ramsay Street which appears to be over-run, to cliché levels, with indigenous wildlife such as kangaroos that have been added digitally. The camera pans left from the middle of the street stopping at number 22 which has the "five" logo hovering mid-air in front of it. The backing music is an instrumental version of Mika's Grace Kelly. This ident was used for screenings of both "Neighbours" and Home and Away.

Break bumpers

* "Five" has had the same break bumper since the re-brand of 2002. A brief flash of the channel's logo in a variety of different colours. Unlike other channels its break bumper appears in between each and every advert.


On 6 October 2008 at 21:00, "Five" relaunched, with a new logo and idents, ditching its lower-case "five" logo in use since 2002, to the current upper-case "FIVE" logo, which bears a resemblance to the Living channel owned by Virgin Media.

See also

* List of British television channels


External links

* []
* [ RTLGroup]
* []

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