Discussing the important events from its high profile launch in 1997 through its re-branding's and buyouts and the shows it carries across Channel 5 and its two sister stations.
Fifth terrestrial channel
Channel 5 became Britain’s fifth terrestrial channel, when it opened with a fanfare in March of 1997, with the Spice Girls launching the channel - when they were at the height of their girl power fame - with a re-worked rendition of Manfred Mann’s “5-4-3-2-1”. Channel 5 was re branded as Five in 2002 when it was purchased by RTL, only for it to revert back to Channel 5 when Northern & Shell took over in 2010 and plans were immediately announced for a multi million pound investment in programming. The station has grown slowly but steadily and Channel 5 launched two sister channels in 2006; Five USA (previously Five us) and 5* (Originally launched as Five Life and later renamed Fiver).
Although the channel historically has the lowest viewing figures of all the terrestrial channels, it still receives nearly 5% of the market share (this rises considerably when live football is shown) and is a recognisable brand across the country.
Even in the current climate, when advertising revenue is in decline, Channel 5 were predicting an increase in advertising and the new owner, Richard Desmond, has recently announced that pre tax profits had nearly tripled.
Channel 5 has a history of importing the best from US television.
They took a chance on bringing CSI to British screens, back when it was virtually unknown, before it became the global phenomenon it is today. Channel 5 continues to bring the finest US imports to this country. These include both CSI spin off's CSI New York and Miami as well as NCIS, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Mentalist and most recently Castle.
These shows are also shown across its sister channels on various nights of the week. There is also room for home grown programs in its schedule such as, The Wright Stuff celebrity gossip show OK!TV, The Gadget Show and Fifth Gear and later this year, Channel 5 will be the new home of the reality show Big Brother.