BBC First brings Sherlock, Doctor Who to AXN Mystery

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 21 April 2015

The BBC First branded programme block will soon debut in Asia on Japan's AXN Mystery, following a tie-up between BBC Worldwide and the channel's owner Sony Pictures Television Networks.

Launching on 7 May at 10pm, the BBC First block will provide crime, mystery and thriller shows from the UK, for two hours each Thursday. A catch-up service will also be offered to AXN Mystery subscribers on TV, PC or mobile devices.

Programmes scheduled for BBC First include Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman; Doctor Who, the world's longest running science fiction series; and The Game, the stylish edgy spy thriller set in the Cold War, which has not yet been aired in Asia.

"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. We are confident that the carefully curated programme line-up for BBC First will bring even more audiences to the channel," said Hiroko Ozawa, general manager, Sony Pictures Television Networks, Japan AXN Mystery.

Soojin Chung, VP and GM North East Asia, BBC Worldwide, added: "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."

The BBC First block made its global debut in August 2014 on Australia's Foxtel pay-TV network.