BBC Worldwide has confirmed that its BBC First channel, which will showcase the very best new British dramas and comedies in one place for the first time, will launch August 3 on Foxtel in Australia with a special box set screening of The Musketeers. The box set will be followed by a preview of the first episode of BAFTA award-winning Peaky Blinders, and the drama Burton and Taylor. The Musketeers will also be screened as double episodes across five Sunday nights from 10th August.
Natalie Edgar, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said a Sunday launch gave the chance to reach as many viewers as possible on the service’s first day. “We wanted to mark this exciting occasion with a very special line-up for viewers which gives them a real taste of the channel and delivers content to them in a way we know they like to enjoy it. We’re pleased to offer viewers the opportunity to watch all ten episodes of The Musketeers back to back, as well as give audiences a glimpse of the quality and breadth of drama on the channel which encompasses epic series to intimate one-offs, featuring top talent both in front of and behind the camera. Over the months ahead, we will be offering viewers more opportunities to binge view by scheduling box sets of series and audiences will get the first chance to see première episodes of our biggest new programmes at 8.30pm,” she advised.
Brian Walsh, Foxtel Director of Television, said the addition of BBC First cemented the pay-TV operator’s commitment to providing its customers with first-run, high quality international drama. “The BBC is world-renowned for producing premium programming that is loved by Australian audiences, and BBC First delivers scripted drama with award-winning actors and compelling stories across varying genres such as comedy, thriller and historical,” he added.
Australia is the first territory to launch BBC First, one of three new global brands announced by BBC Worldwide in October 2013. BBC First joins existing BBC channels UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News on the Foxtel platform. It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition.