The channel will feature premium scripted and factual programming, including BBC original series “Top Gear,” “The Office,” “Death in Paradise” and “The Graham Norton Show,” which will be available at launch.
The ad-supported channel will broadcast in Canada in HD and will replace Blue Ant Media’s existing HIFI channel.
The BBC First channel launch marks an expanded partnership between BBC Studios and Blue Ant Media. The companies previously collaborated to launch the BBC Earth channel in Canada in 2017.
“Canadians love British television, and Blue Ant Media’s expanded partnership with BBC Studios underpins our commitment to invest in high-quality, distinctive programs we know our audiences will enjoy,” said Jamie Schouela, president for global channels and media at Blue Ant Media.
Rebecca Glashow, president of BBC Studios Americas, said: “The launch of BBC First continues our relationship with Blue Ant Media, a great partnership that has led to much success for BBC Earth in Canada. They intuitively understand the BBC brand, in-market needs and how to connect with audiences.”
The channel launch will be followed by a month-long free preview through April 16. After the preview ends, BBC First will be available on cable in various packages, and the monthly subscription fee will be dependent upon the provider.
Other titles available on BBC First at launch include “Father Brown,” “Antiques Roadshow” and “Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators.”
Channels that Blue Ant Media operates also include Love Nature and Smithsonian Channel Canada.
The global rollout of BBC First began in 2014 with Australia. It is now available in several territories including Central and Eastern Europe, Taiwan and Turkey.