BBC Worldwide and Sony Pictures Television Networks in Japan has jointly announced the launch of BBC First on AXN Mystery, marking the global debut of the BBC First-branded programme block. AXN Mystery is Japan’s only dedicated mystery channel, bringing together premium mystery drama from around the world.
The BBC First block, which will launch in Japan on Thursday, May 7 at 10pm, will provide a home for award-winning and premium crime, mystery, and thriller programmes from the UK. The block will air for two hours every Thursday. Viewers will also be able to catch-up on some of their favourite programmes on the block via AXN Mystery Plus, a free on-demand service for AXN Mystery subscribers on their TVs, PCs, tablets and smartphones.
AXN Mystery viewers will have access to top rated and awarding winning British dramas including Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; Doctor Who, the longest running science fiction series in the world; as well as The Game, the stylish edgy spy thriller set in the Cold War which will make its Asia premiere on the channel.
“AXN Mystery has had great success with British dramas, which have attracted a strong Japanese following with their high production value and unique style of storytelling, so it made perfect sense to create a destination for them on our schedule,” said Hiroko Ozawa, General Manager of AXN Mystery, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Japan. “We are confident that the carefully curated programme lineup for BBC First will bring even more audiences to the channel.”
“The BBC has a world-class reputation for drama. With this at its core, the BBC First programme block will offer Japan’s audiences an unrivalled opportunity to view a wealth of original and unforgettable British content,” said Soojin Chung, VP and GM of BBC Worldwide, North East Asia. “Over the months ahead, we will be offering viewers more opportunities to catch the best and latest crime, suspense and mystery dramas from the UK.”
The BBC First programming block in Japan is the second launch of the genre brand worldwide. In August 2014, BBC First channel launched in Australia on Foxtel’s pay TV platform.