AT half past four this morning, many British expats in southern Spain finally lost all BBC channels.

All free channels from ITV and Channel 4 are likely to also be switched to the new UK-focused satellite very soon, probably on the morning of Tuesday, 11 February.

The switch to the UK spot beam  has been a hot topic of discussion in Southern Spain, with expats nervously awaiting this day for years.

The new Astra 2E satellite will improve reception in the UK but, as shown in the map, doesn’t extend to the Costa del Sol.

Olive Press readers have been getting in touch to express their disappointment at having lost all BBC TV and radio channels.

“There are people running around like headless chickens wondering how they can get it back,” said Het Farrington, inVilanova Cataluna.

Areas which have seen complete loss of BBC channels are Costa Del Sol, Andalucia, Southern Portugal, much of Catalunya, the Canary Islands and also Italy.

Gibraltar should also have been affected but some residents claim to still be receiving  BBC 1 HD and BBC 2 HD, with all other channels reportedly coming back today. Those in Malaga are also reportedly still receiving BBC channels.

Once migration is completed, satellite operator SES Astra is likely to make adjustments which could affect the quality of reception once more.

Sky channels are less likely to be affected as it is probable that they will be broadcast via the pan European beam that can be received in Southern Spain.

However, BBC, ITV and C4 will all be lost from Freesat and Sky boxes and subscribing to Sky will not bring them back.

But there are alternatives to continue getting UK TV. Some free services already exist, such as Filmon,  which are viewed on a computer screen or connected to the television, although picture quality can be poor.

Another alternative is to subscribe to a professional streaming service and connect an IPTV set top box to the main television.



  1. @Alan, the satellite service I am on works across all of Spain as far as I know. This is because it is using a European beam, not a UK spot beam. Anyway, what is a dedicated IPTV service? It sounds a bit contradictory. The nature of the Internet is that everyone shares data.

    You can buy a much higher bandwidth with service quality of service guarantees straight to the data centre, but it’s very expensive. I doubt even you have that service just for TV. Internet speeds in Spain are known to be amongst the worst in Europe.

  2. @fred , you sound to me as if you are a serial argumentative person , i am glad your happy with your service which is available through out Spain considering UK terrestrial channels are only available via satellite 28e ,as other people on here have said , all i am saying is that you make a statement criticizing something you have no knowledge of while promoting something that you cant tell anyone about , do you work for the secret service of bullsh–?
    dedicated iptv service is exactly what it says it is dedicated to TV channels

  3. @Paul, happy to call your bluff lol.

    @Alan, I’ve already mentioned the system I’m using. It’s the one that is advertised in just about every expat newspaper in existence for at least the last 3 months. The dish faces West and uses an encrypted channel setup. I believe it’s called the BISS system to some. Works fine for me. I had a guy change the codes a couple of weeks back I recall – 10 euros. I don’t think it is legal, but then again neither was getting Sky in Spain.

    I genuinely didn’t know what you meant by “dedicated IPTV”. All Internet/IP systems share data – this is called contention. There is obviously a lot more contention on many ISPs in southern Spain since the UK satellite TV switched beams. Some have even stopped taking subscriptions as a result. All IPTV systems have to compete with other consumers – no one has a “dedicated” Internet channel is what I was saying. A box dedicated to IPTV still has to use the Internet and if that provider is very busy, it will buffer etc. You can purchase a much higher and less contended connection but it’s hundreds of euros a month (I have one as a business expense and it streams HD great).

    Happy to answer your questions.

  4. Fred, thanks for all the info, I totally agree that monthly payments are ridicules. The system you are using, does not require Internet correct, just the guy coming over and reconfiguring your dish? can you confirm after the guy reconfigured your dish you do get ITC 1 and BBC 1 ?

  5. @Loki, the guy repositioned my existing dish. I got the box on eBay, but they are hard to find. No internet, all satellite. The installers will provide a box for a one-off fee. It receives all the main UK channels, so BBC1 and ITV1, and the other ITVs, plus Ch4/5 etc. I doubt this solution will last forever, but then again what does? New solutions always come along. In Marbella they are trialling a point-to-point TV system using fixed antennas (non IPTV again).

  6. @Loki I don’t provide numbers, there are newspapers full of adverts for that. For example, if I look in last weeks EWN I see a whole page advert saying “BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc by Satellite, No Internet Required”. The box is a Technomate, I believe. Good luck with it.

  7. fyi, contention is correct.
    The Isp`s have a big fat connection. They sell that to many small subscribers. the amount they put on that connection is called the contention ratio.
    if a fat pipe can handle 10`000 at one time they sell it to 20`000 or more because not all will be online at once.

  8. Hundreds of comments here — and all about TV channels!
    For heaven’s sake, get your priorities right!
    Enjoy life in Spain and forget about British TV!!!
    And yes, you could even try watching SPANISH channels — there are one or two good programmes.

  9. The new satellite is much better targeted. Therefore there is no spillover effect over the South of France and North of Spain. The Centre of Spain and the Alicante area never received a good signal, but with a very big dish got some channels. Now the Centre of Spain and Alicante area are also out.

    There has always been a small beam towards Gibraltar. This is still the case with the new Astra satellite. However, this GIB beam, is also much better targeted than before and the spillovers that covered all Andalusia and the South of Portugal are now very strongly reduced. Therefore, if you are in Costa del Sol, which is just next to Gibraltar, you can still get the TV, with a slightly bigger dish than before, if you want all channels you had.

    Basically, the from now on, the only places in Spain where you can get British satellite TV are the Malaga and Cadiz provinces. For the rest of the territory you will have to rely on the internet.

  10. Of course it all comes to the size of the dish. There has always been people watching British satelitte TV in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia with a 5 metres dish. I ignore what you need now for those areas. So you can watch British satelitte TV in all Spain and France if your dish is big enought. It is just a question of money and space in your house.

  11. Yes John…..Best thing that happened [for me anyway] was the loosing of the regular Sat/TV. Got a Smart/Android/TVbox and now get so much more…..That’s the only problem, I have over the last week wtched all 60+ episodes of “Breaking Bad” may save “Game of Thrones” ’till the chilly Andalusia evenings!

  12. Hi I have a holiday home in Nerja Spain,I have a few channels left,but as i had my daughter with me she wanted to watch some tv.
    I have no internet there so called a company in to see how much it would be to get back my channels.
    I have 2 satellite dishes as I have a apartment upstairs,1 is very large 1.8 I think the other one is smaller.
    They could realign satellite large dish for down stairs and put in a new box.
    Upstairs would also need new digi box.
    Cost for down stairs 280euros with box for upstairs extra 100 euros total 380euros!
    Has any body had this fitted?
    Can I buy the boxes else where and put them in myself ?

  13. You would need to obtain a British IP address on your computer or tablet/TV.
    This is pretty easy to do as there are many customers specializing in helping out British expats overseas for this particular reason. These services usually cost around 5-10 dollars per month and are very simple to get started. I would Google for this. seems to offer BBC & ITV access abroad & looks Brit run.

  14. Hey guys. If you want to watch UK TV check this website They are a legal service plus they give you a 1 hour a day forever free trial. Their annual subscription is 48 euros, and you get UK channels in HD, and 7 days of catch up. Plus they are constantly upgrading and acquiring new channels, and they keep the same prices… Definitely worth a try, and their trial is free, so nothing to lose… A big plus is that what you see is what you get, no hidden fees, and such things, just upfront…

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