Boasting the best British scripted content “first, fast and uninterrupted”, BBC First is a new BBC Worldwide brand that will be rolled out globally, with the first channel launch confirmed for Australia.
BBC Chief Executive Tim Davie, said, “The BBC has a world-class reputation for drama and this new global brand builds on it. With drama at its core, BBC First will offer international audiences an unrivalled opportunity to view a wealth of original and unforgettable British content.”
Jon Penn, Managing Director BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand, said: ‘BBC First captures the essence of the channel perfectly. It is synonymous with the quality BBC brand, delivering the best British drama and comedy to audiences before they can see it anywhere else in Australia. We’re delighted that our new channel, announced in April, is to become a BBC Worldwide brand that will be recognised and cherished around the world.’
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: ‘This is another historic moment for Foxtel and a landmark television partnership. BBC First extends our un-rivalled commitment to securing the best premium programming for our subscribers. From August, every coveted BBC drama and comedy will premiere in Australia first on Foxtel.’
Launching as part of the Foxtel Drama & Lifestyle package in August 2014, BBC First will feature premiere programming from the BBC which will not be available on Free to Air television for at least 12 months.
The Pay TV deal means ABC will no longer have first rights to many drama and comedy titles from mid-2014.
• The Musketeers, a contemporary take on the beloved characters created by Alexandra Dumas, starring Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
• The Fear, a bold, edgy drama following a former crime boss as his empire is brought to its knees by the disintegration of his criminal mind, starring Peter Mullan and Richard E. Grant.
• Young Doctor’s Notebook, a wry comedy based on the semi-autobiographical short stories by Bulgakov, about a young medical graduate on the eve of the Russian Revolution. It stars Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe.
• Dead Boss, a comedy drama about a woman wrongly sentenced to 12 years in prison for the murder of her boss, starring Jennifer Saunders and Sharon Horgan.
• The Village, a family saga set in the beautiful Peak District in the twentieth century, starring Jon Simm and Maxine Peake.
• The Fall, series two of this compelling psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland, starring Gillian Anderson as Det Super Stella Gibson.
BBC First will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition.