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BBC First

BBC First
BBC First logo
Launched 3 August 2014 (Official; Australia)
16 May 2015 (Netherlands)
4 June 2015 (Belgium)
18 October 2015 (South Africa)
Owned by BBC Worldwide
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Broadcast area Australia
South Africa
Sister channel(s) BBC Knowledge
BBC World News
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 117 (SD/HD)
Channel 214 (SD)
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 117 (SD/HD)
Channel 214 (SD)
Telenet (Belgium) Channel 561 (Flanders)
Channel 741 (Brussels)
Fetch TV (Australia) Channel 105
KPN (Netherlands) Channel 23 (SD)
Channel 729 (HD)
Telfort (Netherlands) Channel 23
Channel 729 (HD)
XS4ALL (Netherlands) Channel 23
Channel 729 (HD)
Lijbrandt (Netherlands) Channel 116
Streaming media
Foxtel Go (Australia) Channel 117
Yelo TV Watch live (Belgium only)

BBC First is an entertainment subscription television channel featuring comedy and drama programming. The channel is wholly owned and operated by BBC Worldwide. The channel began rolling out internationally in 2014, launching first in Australia.[1][2][3]


  • History 1
    • International roll-out 1.1
      • Australia 1.1.1
      • Netherlands 1.1.2
      • Belgium 1.1.3
      • South Africa 1.1.4
      • Programming blocks 1.1.5
  • Programming 2
    • Current programming 2.1
      • Original programming 2.1.1
      • Acquired programming 2.1.2
      • Future programming 2.1.3
  • References 3


In October 2013, BBC announced that in 2014 they would rollout 3 new brands - BBC Earth, BBC First, and BBC Brit, with BBC First to be dedicated to drama and comedy programming.[4]

International roll-out


On 17 April 2013, it was announced that the Australian subscription television provider Foxtel which would see a new channel launched that would feature comedy and drama content, with programming screening as close to their original UK transmission as possible.[2] The following day it was announced that this deal resulted in the end of a 50-year-old deal with Australian free-to-air broadcaster ABC which they were not consulted about.[5] Despite the new exclusive deal with the Foxtel, it does not affect 'grandfathering' agreements whereby series that are currently broadcasting on other networks are not affected and will remain on their current network.[5] The programming that is shown on the new channel will not air on Australian free-to-air for at least 12 months after its first airing, if ever.[2][6] It was later announced the new channel would be named BBC First, a new global brand that would roll out in 2014, with Australia being the first location to launch the new channel.[3] The Australian channel is available in linear format and in high definition, launching on 3 August 2014.[3][7][8]

On 1 February 2015, BBC First launched on Australian IPTV service Fetch TV – ending Foxtel's exclusivity.[9][10]


BBC First launched in the Netherlands on 16 May 2015, initially exclusively on the KPN IPTV service (Interactieve TV van KPN) on channel 23. The programme mix will be specifically for the Netherlands with more emphasis placed on drama and crime series. All programming is subtitled in Dutch.[11] KPN simultaneously withdrew BBC Three and BBC Four.


The channel launched in Belgium on 4 June 2015.[12][13]

South Africa

The channel launched in South Africa on 18 October 2015.[14][15]

Programming blocks

There are BBC First programming blocks on the following channels:


Current programming

Original programming

Acquired programming

Future programming


  1. ^ "BBC Worldwide and Foxtel unveil new channel name". BBC Worldwide. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Knox, David (17 April 2013). "New BBC Drama channel headed to Foxtel". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Knox, David (19 October 2013). "BBC First channel to launch on Foxtel in August". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Middleton, Richard (18 October 2013). "BBCWW to scrap global iPlayer". C21 Media. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Knox, David (18 April 2013). "BBC quits 50 year deal with "disappointed" ABC". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Knox, David (17 October 2013). """BBC dramas "No delay from the UK. TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Knox, David (26 May 2014). "BBC First to launch on August 3rd". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Knox, David (2 July 2014). "Foxtel Channel Changes". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Knox, David (9 December 2014). "Fetch TV adds BBC First". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Perry, Kevin (9 December 2014). "Big Blow for Foxtel as they Lose Exclusive Rights for Premium Drama Channel BBC First". Nelbie. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "A First for Europe as BBC Worldwide’s premium drama channel debuts in The Netherlands" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 29 April 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "BBC First to Launch in Belgium" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "BBC First to launch in Belgium next month". TBI Europe. 2015-05-22. 
  14. ^ "BBC Worldwide launches BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First in Africa" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 
  15. ^ BBC First South Africa
  16. ^ "BBC Worldwide and Sony Pictures Television Networks join forces to launch BBC First programme block on AXN Mystery in Japan" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  17. ^ Higgins, D (March 30, 2015). "APRIL on FOXTEL: Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Wentworth, Deadline Gallipoli and 200+ other new shows". The Green Room. Foxtel. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Knox, David (27 March 2014). "Curtain up on BBC First". TV Tonight. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
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