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BBC First launching with Sony in Japan

BBC Worldwide’s new channel brand BBC First is launching as a programming block on Sony Pictures Television’s mystery-themed network in Japan.

The deal to place Brit content on SPT Networks’ AXN Mystery channel marks BBC First’s first branded programming block, and comes after the brand launched as a full channel in Australia.

In Japan, the two-hour weekly block will launch on Thursday, May 7 at 10pm, with some programmes available through VOD service AXN Mystery Plus.

Shows from the crime, mystery and thriller genres will include Sherlock, Doctor Who and spy thriller The Game, which will be making its Asian debut 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, SPT Networks, Japan.

“We are confident that the carefully curated programme lineup for BBC First will bring even more audiences to the channel.