22 Aug, 2013 @ 12:13
1 min read

Spain faces UK TV turn-off


RESIDENTS of Spain will find themselves without British television next month if the re-scheduled launch of the Astra 2E rocket is successful.

The rocket is due to blast-off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on September 15, replacing the existing device and providing free-to-air and encrypted  direct-to-home digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.

The new satellite, however, will not broadcast BBC television channels or radio stations to Spain, leaving residents that receive transmissions through their satellite dishes without the extensive range of British channels.

Mike Crompton, proprietor, MediaStreamz, said: “So far only the BBC has made any formal statement. Alix Pryde, the Corporation’s director of communications, said the new satellite would signal the end of BBC broadcasts in Spain as it looks to focus on the quality of service transmitted to license fee payers in the UK.

“But the signs for other channels are not good. Be prepared to lose your free to air British TV via your satellite dish setup in the not too distant future.”

ITV were unavailable to comment at the time of writing.


Those viewing via IPTV, a service which provides broadcast via your broadband connection, will not be affected by the change and concerned viewers are being advised to switch to an IPTV provider as soon as possible to avoid being left without the channels.

Crompton said: “We are preparing for a surge in demand for our IPTV service at MediaStreamz, but we urge viewers to get in touch sooner rather than later so they are not affected by the change.”

The rocket was originally scheduled for  launch in July, but was postponed following the failure of the preceding Proton launch.

The Proton-M crashed seconds after take-off, exploding into a fireball and contaminating the crash site with around 500 tonnes of poisonous fuel.

An investigation into the crash found that one of the parts had been incorrectly fitted, causing the rocket to head towards the ground rather than skywards.

Find out more about the services offered by MediaStreamz here: http://mediastreamz.com/


Claire Wilson

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. I do wish the Olive Press would stop giving space to these expensive IPTV providers when nobody knows which parts of Spain are going to be affected by the satellite switch or whether a larger dish will solve the problem. Until the switch over is complete nobody can say for sure what is going to be lost or gained.

  2. “Causing the rocket to head towards the floor rather than skywards”. You couldn’t make it up. At this rate, Spain will probably hang on to Corrie etc. for years. Let’s see if this drives Gib. from the comment column for a while…

  3. I have been using a re-broadcaster for a few years as I cannot have a massive dish at this place but they charge €23 a month, so I was quite interested to see that a local Company will provide the internet with unlimited usage and 3mb speed for €19 a month with a wireless router and if you wanted a phone service and their IPTV service is was €25 a month. Times change don’t they. This will be my 3rd service at this place. Also, you can tell them when you are not there and you do not have to pay for these complete months with no higher monthly fee for when you use it. I will have some of that.

  4. @ Loranne

    I cannot confirm if that is the case but there was some info a few months ago that all the channels SKY carries will migrate to a pan European satellite which could be received in Spain, given that the SKY package carries all the free to air channels there is some chance that with a dish adjustment we can still get our UK TV. I am keeping my fingers crossed because I am finding Filmon to be very unstable at the moment.

  5. peter – I remember similar concerns when the BBC changed to Astra 2D ten years ago, and only the Costa Blanca was affected. As for the expense, the trade-off is you don’t have to pay the £145 licence fee.

    Mike H – Gibraltar residents don’t pay the UK licence fee. Although it’s a British territory, people living there have no more right to receive UK channels than people in Spain. The satellite associations don’t pay the BBC or other UK channels anything at all.

    Loranne – you will be affected if you want the UK terrestrial channels.

  6. The last I heard was that the rocket had developed a problem and the launch has been postponed until a later date to be announced, like all things I suggest lets wait and see and not panic into some expensive needless system via internet.

  7. Speaking as someone who is happily tucked up in her ‘pit’ back in the Rhondda Valley, Wales, I think that this whole satellite issue is probably a storm in a teacup and none of you will be badly affected at all. I certainly am hoping so anyway – I know how much I relied on UK TV when I was living in Estepona.

    However, even if it is an issue, there are ways of accessing iPlayer etc. through your TV. I have a YouView box here and now hardly ever watch live TV!

    Anyway, best wishes to you all and here’s hoping that the possible effects of the great satellite switch has been massively exaggerated.

  8. My understanding is that (as the report says), if you are getting free view or free to air then it is Just that and ONLY that service that may go, as this is a service that is paid for out of the license fee.

    So if you are getting your feed from your own dish, or from a re-sender, you will not loose the signal, as you will be paying a fee direct to Sky or to your local supplier.

    Sky get £millions in direct subscriptions from clients not in the UK,…… there is no way they would put that amount of profit at risk, by denying a feed to Spain. There is far too much competition BT/Virgin etc etc, to loose this very profitable cash flow. ONLY when Amazon stop selling sky boxes can you be sure there will never be a service in Spain, and that’s just not going to happen.

  9. Inconsiderate advertising / scaremongering again on a subject already flogged to death months ago.

    Perhaps the headline “Spain faces UK TV turn-off” should read “Certain areas of Southern Spain faces UK TV turn-off” – as in some areas of Spain reception of the first new satellite launched a few months ago has either stayed the same or improved.

    As “Ken Westmoreland” said, the pervious satellite changes affected some areas more than others.

    “The new satellite, however, will not broadcast BBC television channels or radio stations to Spain” – how do they know what reception of this satellite will be like before it has even been launched? Are you Mystic Meg? Do you have this weeks winning lottery numbers also if you can predict the future?

  10. Helso, I do agree – at this stage how can anyone ‘know’ anything at all? I think that an awful lot of companies have (understandably) jumped on this issue to make money in the recession, but almost all the people I know on the Coast say that they are going to wait until the satellite switch-off to see whether they need to change their system. This despite various satellite companies trying to tell them that they might have a long wait if they choose not to spend loads of pre-emptive money.

  11. Just a word of warning to anyone silly enough to splash the cash on a new system now. Our local satellite man was doing research into the best machines etc and came across 1 “company” that was selling the new smart box for just over 150.00 Euros. He was given a full demo on how it works and was impressed. Unfortunately what the man doing the demo did not mention was that they are selling normal freeview boxes (available in currys for about 50.00 pounds) as a smart box. So if you bought one of these and the turn off does happen you have just bought an expensive paper weight. So thank Gavin we are all now doing as you said “wait and see what happens even the experts are not sure!! (another example of expats screwing expats)

  12. Just like to point out that ALL IPTV services are ilegally rebroadcasting and not only that, are CHARGING without paying royalties to the broadcaster. Expect all IPTV service providers to get cease and desist letters within a few months, and shut down, leaving you with a bricked box. The best bet is proxy services and use OFFICIAL ONLY streams, such as Iplayer and ITV catchup… etc.

    Honest impartial advice, I am not here to sell anything myself as this is an anonymous post but I have my own company here and know what I am talking about.

  13. The article above wrongly states: “The new satellite, however, will not broadcast BBC television channels or radio stations to Spain”
    This isn’t true. It will broadcast to Spain, just like every single satellite at 28.2º east currently does.
    What will change is the dish size needed in some parts of the country. A large area across southern Spain and Portugal may be unable to receive BBC transmissions. This will probably mean a strip about 100 miles wide, from the Algarve to the Costa Del So. This estimate is based on the experience of Astra 2F, which is currently broadcasting. Astra 2F and 2E will be virtually identical.
    Sky viewers will suffer the same loss of BBC & ITV. Paying a subscription wont’t help as Freesat and Sky both carry the same frequencies. Sky pay-TV services are likely to remain on pan-European beams until at least 2014. The only exceptions to the loss may be More 4 HD, E4 HD, ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD and ITV4 HD which are all encrypted pay channels.

    The comment above about IPTV services is right. They are all illegal. Anyone who doubts this should ask the IPTV company for written proof they have permission to re-broadcast, whether they make a charge or not. No IPTV company has permission. All these services are likely to disappear without warning.

  14. What is wrong with these companies? ITV and other ad-supported channels should have an easy and relaible way for us to get TV.
    I gave up years ago and started to ‘torrent’ my evening viewing.
    I’d rather pay a little for a setup thats reliable and current, but if the big boys wont modernise then i’ll wait for the DVD, or download it via my super highspeed internet connection (that bit is dripping in sarcasum)

  15. There’s no need to pay for expensive IPTV solutions. A decent internet connection and a simple DNS change will unlock TV stations in the UK, USA and the rest of the world. What you need is a device (small PC, Mac Mini, Apple TV, or similar) connected to your TV and the internet.

  16. Hi I live in Mazarron, Murcia , spain and my satellite/ Goodmans box switched off early Sunday morning. my LG tv now
    states No satellite connection, how do I get English tv from now on any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  17. I live in Menorca and my signal dropped for around 20 mins yesterday…could not get any programmes at all..but it did come back eventually..
    Is this a sign that something is about to happen? We have already lost cannel 5. I just have the usual old basic sky box and dont pay for any extra channels/movies or anything. I get all the BBcs and ITVs, which is all i am interested in.

    Do I need to fork out for a new system ??

  18. So this multi million pound state of the art contraption left the earth and immediately returned with it’s expensive pay load, come on it’s not Rocket science…

  19. Not sure if this is the correct place to ask this question – I have just bought a place in Mijas – it is a holiday home plus we will be renting it out too. Being new to this, I’m fairly ignorant with regards to watching UK TV in Spain however we will certainly want to have a reliable TV available. I don’t have internet at the property yet but I’m sure I will want to have that too. Can anyone give me any advice / recommend what I should do ? Also is there an option where I only pay for the time someone is there as it is only likely to be occupied for 6 to 8 weeks of the year max ??

  20. so long as you have broadband, free tv is not a problem, simply get some IP changer software for your pc/laptop and watch tv through that or route your internet through the pc and use a YouView box or something similier and bobs your uncle, you can do this for any tv worldwide, because the ip changer gives you a proxy address in the country where the tv is being broadcast, im not suggesting you break licencing laws, this advice is to those who have a British tv licence of course :-)

  21. I am now losing channels for several hours per day!!! Last week Channel 4 for 5 hours during the day, but then it came back to me in the evening….

    Today once again I cannot get Channel 4 , BBC 1 or BBC 2, altho I suspect it will come back intermittently later on today…anyone got an answer??

    Is it finally happening….??
    Jacqueline ( Menorca)

  22. I am in Vilanova Cataluna and the BBC channels have gone off today. There are people running around like headless chickens wondering how they can get it back…x

  23. Is it possible for you good people in Spain to lay your hands on a YouView box via Amazon? I have one here in Wales and find it invaluable. Since the aerial reception here in my part of the Rhondda is not good I have a Freesat digibox for live TV, so only use the YouView box for catch-up stuff.

    For some reason you can only get the ITV Player if you have an aerial connection, but all the other stuff comes in via my internet service, therefore surely you can do the same over there? I find it very efficient on the whole and also find that, apart from ITV programmes, I very rarely watch live TV anymore.

  24. You would have to get a UK ip address and good internet connection. This is not always possible. I have Orange internet and that is no good for downloading TV programmes.

  25. All the years we lived in England I always paid for a licence Now when I have reached the age when the government
    allow a free tv licence bbc decide to cut transmission to
    the place I retire to.

  26. I am still buying a TV licence when I am away for 6 months of the year and now unable to get any BBC in Spain. The BBC are going to miss out and also Sky if I had to pay here I would.

  27. The BBC ratings are going to drop by 7/8 million Europeans. They have cutting off their nose to spite their face. They only had to set up a European TV licence or a European package for all channels.. fools. We Still watch Eastenders on our computer. The quality of BBC TV is the pits anyway repeats repeats repeats. Most people watch the satellite channels anyway so much more variety on there. YouTube has film documentaries etc etc.

  28. Sour grapes from Mitch? The B.B.C. don’t care about you. Your theoretical 7/8 million don’t appear on their radar. It’s not as if they are missing out on advertising revenue or licence fees. Can’t imagine full-time ex-pats assiduously paying for a U.K. licence (because they’re so honest.) How would a “European Licence” be enforced? “Here comes the detector van Pedro, hide the telly!”
    Het Farrington: You will have to follow the advice to Pedro when you spend those six months in the U.K.
    Poor George. Still, you’ve got the sunshine and Spanish telly for nowt.

  29. Mitch
    The BBC did originally have a subscription channel in Europe with a mix of original programming shown on BBC1 and 2, but replaced it with BBC Prime. Had it replaced it with versions of BBC1 and 2, with different schedules for rights reasons, that would have been better, but the BBC thought it was undermining sales of TV programmes to other channels.

    How would a “European Licence” be enforced?

    Encryption – it’s what BFBS does with its TV service. In order to get a viewing card, you need to be a member of the British forces serving overseas. Being the forces, they can take disciplinary action against anyone who lends it to a friend, or to a pirate TV operator, as has happened in Cyprus. The Swiss have a similar system for expatriates in Europe – you go along to your nearest embassy or consulate with your passport, pay your licence fee, and they give you a viewing card.

  30. Encryption, cards, disciplinary action, (ooh, the glasshouse!) Sounds like a recipe for a thriving black market. If there really was big money to be made from bored ex-pats, the bread-heads at the Beeb would be at it.

  31. My parents live in riba roja d”ebre cataluna this wk they lost all bbc channels..via sky tv and a1.2 metre dish ive been googling about changing dish size to widen the recieving signal poss 2 to 3 metre dish,as of yet not sure of dish size as theres loads of info out there. But worth lookjng into as would be cheapest way.any info greatly accepted.

  32. Possible 2 to 3metre dish to get a resonable signal from sky tv On its Proposed satellite shutdown? Parents live riba roja d”ebre cataluna any info greatly recievedrecieved, internet there is expensive and unreliableunreliable so neexs to be airbourne signal.

  33. You cannot do anything legal here in Spain, as a resident, without your Identy Card.Also, you need a Bank Account. A European T.V. Licence could be enforced by obtaining a slot-in/viewing card from your Bank (Plenty with U.K. connections).
    I think many expats would have welcomed this move, and like me, be willing to pay, but unfortunely WE WERE NEVER ASKED !!

    Ah well, sadly not a ‘Perfect World’


  34. Can anyone help please….here in Menorca a dish of 1.5m is receiving all the BBC, itvs etc and everyone is installing them ( our TV guys are very busy!)…but I Heard a “rumor” that maybe within a year or 2 we may have to change our dishes yet again! To a 2m dish? As they are moving/ adjusting the satellite and we will not receive once more, unless teh dish s huge…has anyone else Heard of this?? I dont have space to put this huge appliance on my property…

    The charge for a 1.5m dish here is approx 500 euros, installed and connected. But fat lot of use if the above is going to happen…does anyone have info on what the future holds..?

  35. What about the idea of an online petition electronically signed by the 7/8 million of us and keep sending the list as it updates to the guilty parties requesting fair treatment as uk citizens AND SWITCH US BACK ON !!!!

    Is there a possibility they will listen?>>>>>>

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Mallorca wildfire destroys 450 hectares

red tape
Next Story

Open door for Colombians

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press