BBC Worldwide has done a deal with Foxtel to create a new premium channel offering premiere British drama and comedy in an ad-break free environment, launching in the middle of next year.
The as-yet unnamed new channel will aim to fast-track as many new BBC shows as possible, with the aim of the BBC creating a closer relationship with Aussie audiences.
However, the ABC’s deal for Doctor Who will remain in place, whilst free-to-air channels will still get a second-run of shows like Top Gear, however other titles will be delayed by 12-months.
Under the deal Foxtel will also have a first-look at BBC lifestyle programming, with content made available on Foxtel Go.
Jon Penn, managing director, BBC Worldwide Australasia said: “This deal represents a strategic opportunity for BBC Worldwide to further expand our opportunities to showcase outstanding British creativity in Australia.
“We have a strong relationship with Foxtel and their viewers through our existing four channels, and were delighted to be given the chance to launch a premium channel that could offer the best BBC and British premiere television shortly after UK transmission.
“We are confident that we will also continue to have productive relationships with our other valued partners in the FTA, STV and digital markets.”
The move was welcomed by Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said, who hailed the BBC as “one of the great television brands” saying its content will “enhance the viewing experience” for subscribers.