BBC First

BBC First
BBC First logo
Launched 31 December 2010 (2010-12-31) (Romania)
3 August 2014 (2014-08-03) (Australia)
16 May 2015 (2015-05-16) (Netherlands)
4 June 2015 (2015-06-04) (Belgium)
18 October 2015 (2015-10-18) (South Africa)
1 February 2016 (2016-02-01) (Middle East & North Africa)
4 April 2016 (2016-04-04) (Singapore)
1 October 2016 (2016-10-01) (Malaysia)
1 November 2016 (2016-11-01) (Hong Kong)
Closed 6 August 2013 (Romania)
Owned by BBC Studios
Picture format 576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Audience share Netherlands:
0.6% (2016, [1])
Slogan Unmissable
Broadcast area Australia
Middle East
Sister channel(s) BBC Earth
BBC Lifestyle
BBC Entertainment
BBC World News
BBC Brit
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 117 (SD)
Channel 217 (HD)
DStv (Africa) Channel 119
OSN (Middle East & North Africa) Channel 215 (HD)
Foxtel (Australia) Channel 117 (SD)
Channel 217 (HD)
Telenet (Belgium) Channel 561 (Flanders)
Channel 741 (Brussels)
StarHub TV (Singapore) Channel 522 (HD)
Ziggo (Netherlands) Channel 22 (HD)
Flip TV (Australia) Channel 101
KPN/Telfort/XS4ALL (Netherlands) Channel 23 (SD)
Channel 729 (HD)
Lijbrandt (Netherlands) Channel 116
Unifi TV (Malaysia)[2] Channel 812 (HD)[2]
now TV (Hong Kong) Channel 503
Fetch TV (Australia) Channel 105 (HD)
T-Mobile (Netherlands) Channel 110
Streaming media
Foxtel Go Channel 117 (Australia only)
Yelo TV Watch live (Belgium only)
StarHub Go Channel 522 (Singapore only)
Unifi Play TV watch online (Malaysia only)
BBC Player watch online (Singapore and Malaysia only)
Ziggo GO (Netherlands only)

BBC First is an entertainment subscription television channel featuring comedy and drama programming. The channel is wholly owned and operated by BBC Studios. The channel began rolling out internationally in 2014, launching first in Australia.[3][4][5]


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 comedy and drama programming.[6]

International roll-out


The channel was launched in Romania on 31 December 2010, but closed on 6 August 2013.


On 17 April 2013, it was announced that the BBC had forged a new exclusive deal with 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.[4] 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, on 3 August 2014.[5][5][7][8]


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 is specifically for the Netherlands, with more emphasis placed on drama and crime series. All programming is subtitled in Dutch.[9] KPN simultaneously withdrew BBC Three and BBC Four. On 1 July 2016 Ziggo added BBC First to its channel line up.[10]


The channel launched in Belgium on 4 June 2015.[11][12]

South Africa

The channel launched in South Africa on 18 October 2015.[13][14]

Middle East and North Africa

On 7 January 2016, BBC Worldwide and OSN (Orbit Showtime Network) have announced that they had forged a new and exclusive deal which would see the launch of BBC First HD on the first of February 2016. The new channel would broadcast to Middle East & North Africa and would feature comedy and drama content, with programming screening 48 hours after their UK premier.


BBC First launched a Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) service on StarHub TV Channel 522 on 4 April 2016.[15]


BBC First was launched as a Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) service on HyppTV Channel 812 on 1 October 2016, 10 months after BBC Entertainment was dropped from the provider.[2] The channel's content is also available in the "VOD" tab in the HyppTV Everywhere app for iOS and Android.

Hong Kong

On 1 November 2016, BBC First launched as a Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) service in Hong Kong. The channel replaced BBC On Demand and BBC Entertainment on Now TV.[16] On 14 November 2016, the service was launched on myTV Super OTT platform.


BBC First will make its debut as a linear channel in Poland on October 26.

Commenting on the development, Jacek Koskowski, general manager and VP for Poland, BBC Studios, said: “We’re living through a golden era of British drama with outstanding talent producing some of the very best television in the world. Increasing the drama hours on BBC HD was integral to that channel’s recent growth and now we are going further by bringing viewers even more of what they want. Coupled with the addition of Polish and English subtitles for the first time, I’m delighted to be introducing a dedicated premium drama channel to Poland”.

Programming blocks

There are BBC First programming blocks on the following channels:


Current programming

Original programming

Acquired programming

Not all content are available in all territories.

Future programming


  1. "Jaarrapport 2016" (PDF). Stichting Kijk Onderzoek.
  2. 1 2 3 "BBC First | Channels | BBC Asia | BBC Worldwide". Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  3. "BBC Worldwide and Foxtel unveil new channel name". BBC Worldwide. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. 1 2 Knox, David (17 April 2013). "New BBC Drama channel headed to Foxtel". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Knox, David (19 October 2013). "BBC First channel to launch on Foxtel in August". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  6. Middleton, Richard (18 October 2013). "BBCWW to scrap global iPlayer". C21 Media. Retrieved 28 March 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. "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.
  10. "Ziggo wijzigt zenderaanbod met onder meer BBC First". Totaal TV. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  11. "BBC First to Launch in Belgium" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  12. "BBC First to launch in Belgium next month". TBI Europe. 22 May 2015.
  13. "BBC Worldwide launches BBC Brit, BBC Earth and BBC First in Africa" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  14. BBC First South Africa
  15. Premium British drama comes to Singapore with launch of BBC First, StarHub TV, 24 March 2016
  16. BBC First debuts in Hong Kong. BBC Worldwide. 1 November 2016.
  17. "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 14 October 2017.
  18. "BBC First makes its debut in India on Zee Café" (Press release). BBC Worldwide. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  19. Higgins, D (30 March 2015). "APRIL on FOXTEL: Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Wentworth, Deadline Gallipoli and 200+ other new shows". The Green Room. Foxtel. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  20. 1 2 Knox, David (27 March 2014). "Curtain up on BBC First". TV Tonight. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  21. "Contact BBC Worldwide". Retrieved 1 December 2016.
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