Amsterdam – BBC Worldwide announced the European launch of BBC First, the new premium drama channel, in The Netherlands on 16 May.
The fully localised channel is the brand new home of the very best British scripted content. With all programming subtitled into Dutch, BBC First makes its European debut on terrestrial provider KPN, with further platforms to follow throughout the Benelux region.
A bespoke channel for The Netherlands, BBC First offers premium and uninterrupted drama from the BBC and other leading British producers. The channel will launch with hugely popular and critically acclaimed series such as Wolf Hall – BBC Two’s highest rating programme for 13 years – and thrilling adventures including The Musketeers Series 2 as well as the very latest series of regional favourites, Silent Witness and Last Tango in Halifax.
Paul Dempsey, President for Global Markets at BBC Worldwide said, “The Netherlands is an important territory for us and I am delighted that BBC First will make its European debut in this sophisticated market. We are immensely proud of this channel brand with BBC First promising to be the home of our very best fiction series. Our channel roll out here signifies the greater level of commitment BBC Worldwide is making to reach its global audiences.”
Jaap Postma, Director Consumer-market at KPN said, “Content is becoming increasingly important to our customers so we are keen to broaden the range of programming that we offer. 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. We are very proud to be the launching partner for BBC First in The Netherlands. The channel will be free to watch at channel 23 for everybody that has Interactive TV from KPN.”
Other localised programming to feature in the channel’s launch schedule include Burton & Taylor, Call the Midwife Series 4, Banished and Death in Paradise Series 4.
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. The channel brand made its debut in Australia in 2014 and was the most successful non-sports launch on Foxtel since 2006.