Spike is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. Spike is a general entertainment channel featuring a mix of various programs and movies.Spike's programming reaches approximately 98.7 million pay television subscribers in the United States as well as Canada. As of 2006, Spike's viewers were almost half women, although many of them are reported to be watching it with male partners or family members, or were watching the CSI franchise. The average age of the channel's viewers was 42 years old.As of February 2015, approximately 93.4 million households in the USA receive Spike.PrecursorsThe Nashville Network era (1983–2000)Spike was launched on March 7, 1983 as The Nashville Network, a country living and country music-themed television channel that originally operated as a joint venture of WSM, Inc. (a subsidiary of 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.