23 Nov, 2013 @ 06:30
1 min read

Satellite TV turnoff in Spain sparks outrage


THE forthcoming UK satellite TV turnoff has sparked outrage around Andalucia.

Concerned viewers have racked up a record 466 comments in the six months since the Olive Press first broke the news.

Most ex-pats are keen to establish how they can carry on watching the at-risk channels following the satellite switch off, which could happen at any time now.

The problem is a result of a new satellite being sent up to replace that which was beaming the channels to the television screens of expats in Spain.

Claire Wilson

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  1. Out of the 466 comments, if you deduct those who are touting for business, the anoraks jostling for nasal supremacy and those that can’t live without soap’s, it’s not exactly “an outrage”.

  2. @Dave, Many many expats speak Spanish, It’s actually not a big deal. I speak 2 other languages apart from Spanish. The issue concerning people is they will not have access to quality television, I’m not talking about X Factor or Eastenders, I’m talking about world class documentaries and balanced reporting.
    I tend not too watch Spanish TV, it’s the type of quality you expect in a Central American Banana Republic. It’s sounds like you have based your identity and pride on your ability to speak Spanish, well done, however in this day and age it’s actually not a big deal. It’s enteirely possible that watching Spanish TV could make you a little dumb, this could result in you posting stupid comments on OP message boards.

  3. @Dave. The learn to speak Spanish is elitism or ignorance at best.
    Many expats can speak Spanish and Im sorry to say you are not the only one that can. I think that has little to do with it.
    When you moved to Spain did you stop eating all British good, erased your past of your British family and friends, stopped liking any British arts and culture completely, including TV and music?
    If you did, most of us didn’t. We enjoy the Spanish culture but we don’t mind still enjoying a bit of our own too thank you, for me that’s British TV and Music. Sometimes I don’t mind cooking up a good old British Roast and invite my British and Spanish friends for it too. Shoot me down for liking British TV if you like but there’s nothing wrong with it. If I had Spanish friends in London and popped around to find them watching Spanish TV I would think nothing of it at all.

  4. You cannot “really” complain should you lose UK channels.If you lived in the UK you would be paying approx £150 a year for your TV Licence yet you get it free here.So what I am saying is, you ex-pats want free TV and also your Winter Heating Allowance.Need I say any more. Tomas

  5. @Dave
    Have you ever watched Spanish TV? If you had you would have realised why people (including Spaniards) are desperate to keep access to UK TV.
    And to those that thing it is sad that people want to watch TV….why are you commenting? Read your book go to crochet and look down your noses at us but don’t get involved in something that doesn’t concern you.

  6. Robert so funny! I gave up that other thread with 466 posts on it. The problem I have with my countryside place is that I cannot get broadband, i don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for maybe a wireless broadband service for a few weeks holiday every year and I don’t want to watch Spanish TV either. I do not watch much TV there anyway, maybe the news and I take a few films with me that I record from Sky in the UK. It would still be good to have some UK TV. Is a bigger dish an option in Almeria area?

  7. Not all Spanish TV is crap,
    Sunday morning has excellent classical music concerts – RTV concert theatre in Madrid and in the early morning (try recording) some really good programmes including Spanish Jazz.

    When we lived in Galicia there was a whole season of Flamenca from it’s roots to the present day at 2AM – again recording is a no-brainer.

    Sad to say but a lot of UK TV is American crap or long past their use by date UK soaps (for the brain dead?) and let’s not start a debate about Murdoch Speak – the UK equivalent of Fox (Seig Heil) News.

    If you have a TV card for your computer try Arte a French/German channel – the best available in France with lots of films in English.

    Also – why not buy a really big motorized Sat. dish – the world’s your oyster.

  8. I think some of the comments are a little cruel , many of us older people are not able to afford the extra cost of IPTV , I have a sky dish and already pay for my viewing , its only 25 pounds a month and gives me access to sky channels which we are led to believe are not changing to a different platform … I don´t have a spanish TV ariel but would gladly have one fitted and try to learn enough spanish to get by . We are not sad people who cannot do without englisg TV , but it makes for a more pleasing time for those of us that do not want to spend our evenings getting drunk in the bars. !!!!

  9. I can understand the frustration of ex pats but when I worked overseas, we had no access to UK television on a wide scale.
    The simple choice is use the internet (BBC I player) or does that not work in Spain?
    What are the implications for bar owners? BBC is a rich source of sport this year, Winter Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games, sporting events are a major source of income in an already tough trading environment, being pitted against All Inclusive hotels.

  10. I signed up to strong vpn for $50 per year.

    That means I can sign up for netflix which works with both the UK and USA version. It only costs $8 per month.

    The vpn enables me to use bbc iplayer.

    I also download torrents of entire series which is not totally legal but who cares.

    The BBC ought to allow people outside the UK pay a TV licence and use an encryption system for access to British TV. It would generate a lot of extra revenue for the UK TV chanels which would encourage them to make better programs.

    Netflix is OK even with a 1mb per second connection.
    If you ask bbc iplayer to download stuff during the night it is ready the next day to watch.

  11. Sean

    You can’t watch stuff on the iPlayer outside the UK – that’s the point. It’s restricted for rights reasons.


    You have to make choices – if I were you, I’d cancel the Sky subscription. If you were still in the UK, you’d have to pay the £145 licence fee

  12. IPTV works great if you live in an area with a high speed internet connection, don’t even attempt it otherwise as all you’ll get is buffering. Don’t pay a subscription either, that’s a con. Buy the box and plug it in. Voila. Nothing more to pay.

  13. OK, I can’t understand why anyone would get so upset about losing access to brain-dead soaps like Coronation Street and Eastenders or frankly drivel such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, but that’s just my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to agree with it. What really gets my goat however is all these oh so snotty-nosed, hoity-toity dictators who brand everybody ‘saddos’ and ‘sad gits’ and say they need to get out more if they value UK TV and therefore miss it. Any nationality is going to want at least some contact with their own culture when in another country and TV is often the easiest and best connection with their home and culture. It was one of the things which made coming to Spain so attractive – yes you’ve got the better weather and the more relaxed lifestyle (and once you used to have the more free an easy going attitude and cheaper prices and good exchange rate though that’s mostly all gone now) but easy access to UK TV was a real bonus meaning you still had quality TV in your own language to watch, even if some choose to watch the more frivolous programming available. It is all well and good telling people that they should get out more or go for loads of walks or enjoy all the great bars & restaurants but that can require quite a lot of money if you do it every night and it is not realistic to live a life as if permanently on holiday. Some people may not be able to walk endlessly or live in an area where it is difficult. It is all well and good telling people to learn Spanish but that is not easy, especially for the older people who largely come here and even if you learn it to the best of your ability you will probably never speak it very well, just like most Spanish people in England (various football managers spring to mind) struggle with English pronounciation. For those who are ill or infirm and UK TV or radio is a real lifeline it is just plain cruel and heartless to say ‘just shut up, learn Spanish and watch Spanish TV’, it would be just plain miserable for them. I am sure most people are only too happy to get out and speak to people and mingle with the Spanish people they have got to know but being denied UK TV which was once so easy is bound to cause upset. When we first came to Spain the satellite TV was still analogue and ironically the only ‘worthwhile’ channel we could get was channel 5; as soon as Sky went digital we signed up for a contract and have had it ever since. For those who chose to watch only free to air UK TV it was so easy, too easy really. It was a mistake for the BBC/ITV to have a totally free to air system which allowed no control over who could watch if they could receive the signal. If ‘Freeview’ had been free but required a card on payment of a TV licence I am sure 99% of people would have been only too happy to conform and the system could have remained the same ad-infinitum, rather than being subject to the current change. BBC World is an option which can be subscribed to but is a frankly measly selection of programming. We have a Spanish aerial but rarely plug it in because we find it useless. I am not going to start insulting Spanish TV but it is culturally so different that it is really hard to get used to. It is fine to ‘say select the original language’ but that is only available on imported programming and the range of shows is pretty limited compared with Sky and I have even looked at what Canal+ offer and found the same problem. And don’t forget that a lot of the shows are American and I have found that some of them are still in Spanish when the ‘original language’ selected – Spanish is the second language in the US of course and programs are made for the Spanish market as much as for the English-speaking market so that solution does not always work in Spain. IPTV requires more hassle and expense and is not guaranteed to work well where everybody lives and not everyone will want to subscribe to Sky – and they will still not receive BBC/ITV/Channel4/5 although SKY HD will still apparently receive ITV2/3/4 HD. Basically grow up and accept that a lot of people will be unhappy about this change to UK TV availability.

  14. I think by cutting off I.T.V.channels is utterly senseless because the advertisers will be losing clients who would normally be watching programs. Think of all the charities that will be losing out, Insurance companies, Household appliances, cosmetics etc.they all pay commercial T.V. to produce programs in order to sell their products. Typical English attitude of Cutting noses to spite faces. Just think a big boycott of these products would certainly bring the networks back to normality. We have all paid into the system during our lifetime of working in the U.K. re the winter fuel allowance it also gets cold here and there is no claiming for any other benefits here. A big dish does work by the way Esco, but at a cost of 1000 + euros.

  15. The UK market is large enough to cope without expatriates in Spain as customers (not ‘clients’ – that’s Spanglish clientes). The UK broadcasters have no obligation towards expatriates – they buy the rights to show programmes in the UK, and if the Irish, Dutch or Belgian cable operators want to carry their channels, they have to pay to clear the rights even though the terrestrial signal spills over. It is irrelevant to them how long you paid your taxes, national insurance or licence fee.

    Do I like this state of affairs? No. Do I wish it could be different? Yes – however, the UK broadcasters are within their rights to say ‘no’, and it will be an uphill struggle to get them to say otherwise.

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