To launch in mid-2014 as part of the Foxtel Drama & Lifestyle package it will feature quality first-run programming from the BBC and other great British producers, at least 12 months ahead of Free to Air television.
One title already confirmed is 10-part drama The Musketeers, Adrian Hodges’ contemporary take on Alexandre Dumas’ classic with a cast including Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
All five channels will be available on Foxtel GO and the premiere channel will be available in high definition, alongside UKTV and BBC Knowledge. Extensive BBC content will be available on demand at no extra charge.
In addition, the deal offers Foxtel a first-look at all BBC Worldwide Lifestyle programming.
Jon Penn, Managing Director, BBC Worldwide Australasia said: “This deal represents a strategic opportunity for BBC Worldwide to further expand our opportunities to showcase outstanding British creativity in Australia. We have a strong relationship with Foxtel and their viewers through our existing four channels, and were delighted to be given the chance to launch a premium channel that could offer the best BBC and British premiere television shortly after UK transmission. We are confident that we will also continue to have productive relationships with our other valued partners in the FTA, STV and digital markets.”
Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein said, “The BBC is one of the great television brands; its content, across so many genres, is loved and admired by millions of viewers all over the world. By strengthening our relationship with the BBC we will greatly enhance the viewing experience we offer our subscribers, with even more high quality content that can only be seen on the Foxtel platform and which we show as soon as possible after its original broadcast. Plus we offer the superior quality of high definition and the fantastic convenience of Foxtel Go.
“I want to congratulate BBC Worldwide on this initiative that will greatly enhance their presence in the Australian market.”
BBC Worldwide Channels on Foxtel:
New BBC premium channel – this will feature premiere British drama and comedy, fast-tracked and uninterrupted, from mid 2014.
UKTV – featuring UK hits, including drama, entertainment and soaps..
BBC Knowledge – documentaries with credibility and character.
CBeebies – TV that’s good for your children – educational, entertaining, safe and advertising free.
BBC World News – trusted and impartial 24-hour international news coverage.