A First for Europe as BBC Worldwide’s premium drama channel debuts in The Netherlands

The Netherlands is an important territory for us and I am delighted that BBC First will make its European debut in this sophisticated market. Paul Dempsey, President for Global Markets at BBC Worldwide
Date: 29.04.2015     Last updated: 18.05.2015 at 15.38
Category: BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide announced today the European launch of BBC First, the new premium drama channel, in The Netherlands on May 16 2015.

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 Interactieve 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.

Further information:

Lee Leschasin, Communications Manager, BBC Worldwide Global Markets


+44 (0)208 433 1324

Notes to editors:

There will be a dedicated BBC First Facebook page and BBC First website for our Dutch audiences due to go live on Thursday 30th April 2015 (TBC).



About BBC First

BBC First is the home of premium, original British drama and comedy. Showcasing world-renowned, award-winning talent in front of and behind the camera, it delivers audiences the first chance to see stories that challenge, immerse and entertain, all with a unique British perspective.

About BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Its vision is to build the BBC’s brands, audiences, commercial returns and reputation across the world.  This is achieved through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values.  The business also champions British creativity globally.

In 2013/14, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £157.4m and headline sales of £1,042.3m and returned £173.8m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: