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. Hi all you helpful people out there! I live in Northern Italy and it has taken me 2 months to find this forum about the loss of UK channels -I had only just bought the free sat box a couple of months before the signal disappeared! My question is to Robert Fox – Are you saying I should switch off the box and see if my smart TV receives? Or do I need to get another satbox for HD? and this box finds the channels? I see the comments are from over a month ago -have things changed again since then? Many thanks

  2. @Lisa Harvey. Surprised that “” has only been mentioned once and it’s easy to download.

    All BBC, ITV, Filmon. Free multi movies, music, you name it it’s there and it’s all free.

    You could try “” for further information.

  3. Probably xbmchub hasn’t been mentioned much is because it is controlled by the Chinese and if you research xbmchub you will find that it has nothing to do with the xbmc official site. You may well get all the UK channels but you could be getting a whole lot more besides that you don’t want like trojans and worms.

  4. @Peter,

    I queried this with a professional friend in the U.K and this is what he replied. So one is quite safe in downloading this site. I trust him completely and is very professional and an adviser for top English and American companies in the banking industries.

    “No, you’re safe!

    XBMC started as something for cracked xboxes, it’s from the modding community, so it’s like Open Source, the Chinese don’t own the code, the world owns it!”

    Hope all will heed his words. Be happy.

  5. P.S. Peter. I have had XBMC for a quite a while now on my computer (and linked to the T.V via HDMI) since the cut-off and have never had any trouble or problems clicking on although I don’t use the BBC’s and ITV’s much except for perhaps QT. It does freeze for a few seconds now and then (not on the film channels) but you can overcome that if one wishes.

    Still have full Sky.

    Normally I use another source for downloading the latest films, currently “Noah”, which is not as good as the right-ups may say, I did expect better.

  6. I have heard that the sunday mail indicated that UK TV would be coming back on in Spain the summer after they have updated the old satellite.The reason was some places in the south of the uk were not recieving the new satellite.
    Has anyone seen this report.?

  7. @Fred
    Andalucia is a big place, would be more helpful if you said exactly where, what size dish you are using and decoder box. Also whether you had to realign your dish. I know you like to rub people up with some of your comments but when you have something useful to say please provide more detail. Thanks

  8. I visit my apartment in Malaga 8 times a year for 1 & 2 week periods only, for last 5 years I’ve been happy watching all the British free view TV channels on my Panasonic TV which has built in free sat. with cable connected to a 1300 meter dish I now like everyone else have lost BBC,ITV plus other channels.I don’t want to pay for internet as I’m not here permanently & its expensive here. Can anyone advise me of my best options i.e. what I should do what equipment I need & costs involved

  9. I was only looking for somewhere in Spain that could fix my Apple computer and found this. Wow! I am surprised that British tv could spark so much debate and even result in people moving back to the UK. This is far more entertaining than any tv show! Teresa Tarry, I hope that things work out for you:)

  10. I’ve just received my iptv box from A4 Digital and I’ve got to say I am impressed by the quality , I am receiving over 50 UK tv channels including all the BBC , ITV , C4 and 5
    Radio , 7 day catchup . on demand movies.
    the have said they will be adding regional channels soon
    it costs 330 euros for the first year which includes set-top box then 150 euros per year after
    no contract
    roll on the world cup!

  11. Thanks Karen,,, house up for sale here and fingers crossed I should be home soon. Hope you managed to sort out your Computer, and thanks for your good wishes !!
    Hope everyone has managed to sort out their T.V problems, I,m not bothering and suffering over here. It,s not worth spending 2000 euros ( that,s what Ive been priced ) for the time I intend on staying. Filmon on is OK, if your internet is unlimited, but in Spain that,s dead pricey. Good luck everyone !!!!

  12. If you have access to a TV source in the UK use something like a slingbox to transmit the TV signal to a PC where ever you are. I am using a box called the Belkin @ TV plus to transmit the signal from a multiroom sky + box in the UK. You of course need a good broadband connection at both ends so this will not be for everyone. The virtual remote at the PC end controls the box in the UK.

  13. @Steved, I did not say “Sky Now”, I said “Sky”. There is a whole page advert in the Euro Weekly News this week (and last week too).

    @El Cordobez, “Steve, Sky TV only provide coverage in the UK or ROI.” – why is it I am watching it on my TV in Andalucia then? lol

  14. It must be true then. We have heard it from both Fred and a Newspaper ad. Couldn’t possibly doubt either of those.

    Weird how the SKY Service Centre don’t know about it. Maybe they should subscribe to EWN, or offer Fred a job? lol

  15. Paul, my non IPTV system has been working perfectly for 4 months now. Anyone can get this system in Spain – adverts can be found in all the expat magazines and newspapers. Are you saying you need IPTV to watch UK TV? You don’t. You are out of touch it seems.

  16. “not very good quality reception either”

    @Derek, I have all channels in HD. Dish is the same size as previously (only realigned). Could you really make any more mistakes?

    “very expensive”

    @Paul, 200 euros one-off fee, is that very expensive?

    I’ve no idea if the solution will work long-term, but then again no one does with IPTV either.

  17. “expensive monthly subscriptions and totally illegal”

    No monthly subscriptions. One-off cost for box and dish realign. Getting a Sky card issued in Spain is prohibited too remember. FilmOn could be shut down any time too, just like anything.

  18. Paul,
    Ron lives in the U.K and it is quite simple to get Sky over here as you well know. That’s why I asked Ron if he was connected to Sky over there. I have had Sky in Spain for approximately 18 year or more. Had to change from a 900 to a 1.2 dish, that’s all.

    No doubt Ron already has a dish at his villa over here.

  19. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this as I haven’t read every comment but there is a way to watch all the channels as long as you have a halfway decent computer and a decent broadband connection. It’s possible to watch the catch up sites for the channels by using a proxy server. A proxy server effectively hides the ‘address’ of your computer and tricks the website into believing you are viewing the material from inside the allowable area. There are various websites that will give you information on how to go about this, just google ‘proxy server’ or ‘proxy address’ to learn more.

  20. @Thom, you don’t evenneed Internet/VPNs etc. There are now lots of companies offering satellite reception of the main UK TV channels in Spain. Internet TV is unreliable in any event, as the network infrastructure is so poor (and overloaded).

  21. Fred, just noticed your comment on iptv, you have obviously not used dedicated iptv service , I’ve had mine over a month now and have got to say I have had not one problem, the quality is superb and is as easy to use as any satellite service. now I know your happy with your satellite service but some people cannot get the service you are on?

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