BBC: “They play their scheduling very close to their chest”

Over the past 18 months a number of readers have commented on delays to BBC First dramas, sometimes months after their UK premiere.

Tim Christlieb, Director of Branded Services, BBC Worldwide Australia and NZ has previously noted there are a variety of factors at play, with familiar brands enjoying swifter premieres, and new titles scheduled later, to launch to the largest audience possible.

Foxtel’s Brian Walsh tells TV Tonight the BBC-owned service is also beholden to its parent company in the UK and the release of programming information.

“BBC First only exists in a few markets: Australia, South Africa & the Nordic states. BBC is split into BBC Worldwide, who own the business in Australia, and in the UK it is BBC Public Service who run BBC 1,2,3,4.

“They play their scheduling very close to their chest and they just don’t distribute programming information, which frustrates the local operators as much as the clients like ourselves,” he said.

“You can literally get 4 or 5 weeks notice of when a show is going to air.

“So it is a reflection of the way the BBC is structured in the UK.”

Upcoming BBC First titles include Les Miserables, Brexit: The Uncivil War, Victoria and Baptiste.

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