Monday 26 October 2015

Breaking news: a press release from Multichoice Botswana

This is the full text of a press release from Multichoice Botswana:
MultiChoice Africa brings BBC First to Botswana

Second new BBC Worldwide global genre brand to launch on DStv with popular shows Downton Abbey and EastEnders

26 October 2015: MultiChoice Africa is delighted to inform our viewers in Botswana that we have listened to their requests and have made the decision to bring BBC First to their television screens from 27 October 2015. On this channel, DStv Premium subscribers will be able to catch top-rated British drama series such as Wolf Hall and Peaky Blinders along with EastEnders and the latest season of Downton Abbey.

Following the refresh of the BBC Worldwide channels in September, MultiChoice Africa introduced BBC Brit (DStv channel 120) alongside BBC Lifestyle and CBeebies on the Premium, Compact and Compact Plus packages. Lately, we have received an increase in requests for content that was moved to the new channel, BBC First, during the refresh. As a company that values our loyal subscribers, MultiChoice Africa decided to also add this channel to the DStv platform as part of our continuous efforts to provide our viewers with content they want to watch.

“Subscriber satisfaction is a high priority for us. When we realised that our valued subscribers were highly disappointed at missing out on their favourite shows which were moved to BBC First during the BBC channel refresh, we went back to the drawing board to re-evaluate our decision on BBC First,” said Billy Sekgororoane, General Manager MultiChoice Botswana. “We sincerely apologise to all our loyal subscribers for our initial decision to not acquire BBC First. That was an error in judgement on our side. We hope that the addition of this channel will reassure them that we do listen to them and we are still committed to ensuring they receive the best programming variety in the world.”

BBC First will be available on channel 119 to the DStv Premium package and will air from 18:00 - 01:00 CAT daily.

BBC First is the new home of the great original, innovative British drama. With award-winning talent in front of and behind the camera, the channel gives audiences the chance to see unforgettable stories that challenge, immerse and entertain – all from a distinctly British perspective. The new channel will challenge perceptions and exceed expectations while delivering quality entertainment content to discerning viewers.

In October on BBC First, viewers can look forward to highly rated and star-studded BBC drama offerings including Wolf Hall, a historical mini-series based on Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning novels about the rise of Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII’s Tudor court, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis (Homeland).

Smash-hit period drama Downton Abbey returns for its much-anticipated fifth series in addition to brand new sci-fi time-travelling heroics in Doctor Who S9 and sun-drenched murder-mystery series Death in Paradise.

BBC First is also home to long-running soap opera EastEnders (celebrating its 30th year of chronicling the ups and downs of the colourful inhabitants of London’s East End), airing Monday to Thursday at 18:00 and Casualty airing Fridays at 18:00.

Joel Churcher, General Manager and Vice President for Africa, BBC Worldwide commented: "The BBC is known for producing outstanding drama with fans of our shows spanning the globe. I’m delighted that we are able to introduce even more innovative, distinctive British drama to the African market through BBC First, alongside our current channel portfolio, BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, CBeebies and BBC World News”.

Among the highlights in store for the coming months are the World War One-era gangster drama Peaky Blinders (starring Cillian Murphy), Cold War spy thriller The Game, popular detective series DCI Banks and the new psychological thriller Fortitude, set in a close-knit community in the icy Arctic.

Other top-drawer fare coming up on BBC First is the riveting film Burton and Taylor, centring on the twilight years of this A-list couple’s volatile relationship, starring Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth Taylor and Dominic West as Richard Burton.

A new detective series, Father Brown, stars Mark Williams as a Catholic priest with a penchant for solving crimes in the pastoral English countryside. Set in the 1950s, it is based on the stories of GK Chesterton. And the first season of Happy Valley, the hotly anticipated BAFTA-winning police drama series set in a small town, will also premiere exclusively for BBC First viewers.

For unmissable round-the-clock British drama at its most compelling and innovative, tune in to BBC First, DStv channel 119, from Tuesday, 27 October 2015.

For more information, please visit

Notes to editors:
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 2014/15, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £138.6m and headline sales of £1,001.8m and returned a record £226.5m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website:

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