BBC First drama channel to make European debut

BBC FirstBBC Worldwide’s new premium drama channel, BBC First, is set to make its European debut in the Netherlands next month. 

The BBC’s commercial arm said that the BBC First channel will launch in Europe on terrestrial provider KPN on May 16, with further platforms to follow throughout the Benelux region.

The channel will air series including Wolf Hall, The Musketeers, Silent Witness and Last Tango in Halifax.

“The Netherlands is an important territory for us and I am delighted that BBC First will make its European debut in this sophisticated market. Our channel roll out here signifies the greater level of commitment BBC Worldwide is making to reach its global audiences,” said Paul Dempsey, president for global markets at BBC Worldwide.

Jaap Postma, director consumer-market at KPN said: “All BBC channels are high quality, and this new channel brand brings together premium series and crime dramas with Dutch subtitles that make it easier to watch…The channel will be free to watch at channel 23 for everybody that has Interactieve TV from KPN.”

BBC First rolled out initially last year as a full linear service in Australia, on the Foxtel pay TV platform. It is also set to launch as a branded block on Sony’s AXN Mystery channel in Japan.

BBC First will join BBC Worldwide’s pan-regional channel BBC Entertainment Europe and the rest of the UK BBC Public Service Channels currently carried by operators in The Netherlands.