Expat concern over loss of UK satellite TV

By Brendan de Beer, in News · 06-12-2012 22:58:00 · 20 Comments
Expat concern over loss of UK satellite TV

On Tuesday morning (4 December) a number of UK channels were transferred to the new satellite at 28.2º east, Astra 2F. With this move, came concerns over a loss of channels for expats in countries like Portugal, especially after the loss of Channel 5 following the switch over.

For viewers outside the British Isles in mainland Europe, reception of certain channels currently on Astra 2A or 2B may change or be lost in certain areas after all the new satellites are operational, Astra 2 explained.

Astra admitted that there have been many "rumours" doing their rounds on the Internet, especially ones that overseas viewers would lose all their channels once these changes are complete.

For viewers in some areas of Europe, this may be true, Astra said, but added this depends on which spotbeam Sky decide to use for their channels.

There is no reason for Sky to opt for the UK spotbeam, their channels are encrypted and there are no copyright issues.

There are many expats who have legal subscriptions registered to a UK address, there are many British or Irish pubs and bars that have Sky Sports, these are all income for Sky.

It seems unlikely that Sky would want to lose this income, at this time there are no answers and no guarentees of future reception, Astra argued.

As for the main terrestrial broadcasters, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, these are going to use the UK spotbeam and already do on Astra 2D and Astra 1N.

"If you can already receive signals from these two satellites, then little is likely to change over the coming years", it said.

"Again there are no guarentees, the new satellites are the same type as Astra 1N and are almost certain to have similar spotbeams, only time will tell", it revealed in a statement.

Many free-to-air channels currently use Eutelsat 28A at 28.5° east, launched in 2001 it has an expected lifespan of twelve years, there is currently no information on whether this satellite is to be replaced. If not, then many will have to move to the new satellites.

The changeover resulted the following channels being moved: Channel Five (regions 1-5) 5 USA, 5 USA+1, 5*, 5*+1 and Channel Five +1 along with ITV One regions: Meridian North, Anglia West, Yorkshire East, Central South West, Yorkshire East +1 and ITV One London HD, ITV One regions: Central South, Central East, Wales +1, Tyne Tees North +1, West Country South West +1, Channel Four HD and 4 Seven.

Other Channel Four and BBC & ITV services are still on Astra 1N, which can be easily received on small dishes in much of Europe.

Astra 1N will close at 28.2º east within six to nine months and be moved to 19º east to serve mainland Europe.

Reception reports across Iberia are mixed, SkyinMadrid said.

A few regions: Madrid, Alicate, Murcia are better than they were a year ago under the old Astra 2D, but other places have much weaker signal.

Areas with poor reception reportedly include: Costa Del Sol, Barcelona, and most of Portugal, though no reports of reception disappearing have been reported.

There is a report from the Costa Del Sol which indicates dramatically lower signals.

This is in an area which previously could receive BBC & ITV on a 1.2 metre dish a year ago.

The remaining free channels which are still on Astra 1N are likely to move either in the New Year or in early summer.

But according to Astra2.org continental Europe will continue to be served, though they encouraged viewers thinking of purchasing new equipment to wait for further developments.

In the meantime, UK satelite installers and suppliers in Portugal have been inundated with calls from concerned viewers, but have admitted to playing the waiting game to see the extent of the damage caused by the switchover.

For more information, visit: http://www.astra2.org/astra2.html or satelite.co.uk


Hi everyone , i also lost my BBC channels been using film on and a could not get used to all the down time and all the messing trying to get it transferred from laptop to TV . so i got an iptv box from iptv-anywhere.com and bingo , connects straight to TV and know PC required , all my BBC and itv channels plus allot more ! included is a 7 day catch-up service so i don't have to miss anything. would highly recomend

by marvin from Other on 08-07-2014 11:27:00

Spain has faced a major breakdown after ‘Astra 2E’ launch all UK channels in most areas of southern Spain have turned away. Costa Del Sol and Andalucia have completely cut off while Balearic Island has almost lost the reception. Canary Island has also reported very bad reception of UK TV channels. So, If you are a resident in southern Spain? Or you are going to visit soon? Don’t forget to bring with you the power of PureVPN. PureVPN fastest UK servers with its optimized streaming service will make it possible to watch all UK channels from any region in the world.

by Stacy from UK on 22-02-2014 07:54:00

The way the police are hassling road users continually..dont expect the tourists to be coming to the Algarve for long!

by vincent myers from Algarve on 05-06-2013 04:41:00

Hi, We lost channels down here on the Costa del Sol and purchased a box from ukexpattv.com.

We get all the UK free to air tv channels and it works on just about 1mb of internet.

Worth a look.

by John Powell from Other on 15-04-2013 01:02:00

dont panic if you have 2mb broadband you can receive all the main channels direc to your tv no dish no computer with 7 day catch up and pause live tv

by larry from Other on 18-12-2012 08:03:00

I use this website to watch British TV. http://WatchBritishTV.com

by Gary from Madeira on 15-12-2012 03:26:00

Hi we up in the costablanca north have had a bad signal for years eg 2.4m dish needed ,over the last 2 years we have been using iptv which works great if you have min 2 mb broadband connection all the main uk channels bbc itv c5 c4 etc and including the HD BBC ITV C4 with 7 day catch up and pause live tv www.youviewinspain.com

by larry from Other on 14-12-2012 08:14:00

I got this set top box from a company called uktveverywhere.com and it is amazing. It picks up all the UK channels and automatically records them for a week. Works perfect in Lisbon.

by Susan from Lisbon on 12-12-2012 01:33:00

I just use Expat Telly instead to watch UK tv so luckily this won't affect me

by Celia from Porto on 10-12-2012 11:09:00

The problem is you can not subscribe to Sky if you live in or have a dish in Portugal.

by Troy from UK on 10-12-2012 10:26:00

We have a home in the UK and a holiday home in the Algarve. We pay our TV licence for the full year and do not get a refund for the months we are in the Algarve and there are plenty of people in the same position so yes I do think we should be able to have access and will be disappointed if we don't manage to get our favourite TV programmes. Surely with the technology nowadays someone can come up with a solution.

by Susan from UK on 09-12-2012 09:40:00

Reboltado, would you rather us immigrants took our money back to the UK then? Along with that would go all the visitors who come to see us and spend their money in Portugal. And rightly or wrongly many tourists will go elsewhere if they have UK TV and Portugal does not. Seems your attitude to Algarve is similar to that of the government, and you take no account of the totally different economic situation we face to that of the rest of the country.

by Perry from Algarve on 09-12-2012 09:48:00

Then complain to the Portuguese satellite TV company for not beaming your programmes to the UK, Its hardly the UK`s problem.
As you describe They`re living in Portugal So What,they have the right too providing they are 100% legal.Stop telling people what they can and can not do.

by Troy from UK on 08-12-2012 10:43:00

The loss of English language channels in The Algarve would be a huge blow for the ex- pat community and would also be detrimental to tourism generally.
The loss of Channel 5 would seem to indicate that all BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 programmes will be lost. Even if SKY's own channels are still available this will still be a huge blow.
English and Irish tourists underpin the property market as well as the tourism market. The Tourist Authority should make it a prime concern that they persuade the broadcasters to use the Pan- European beam from new satellite to try to resolve this issue.

by Stuart, Algarve from Algarve on 08-12-2012 08:30:00

Notice on the
British TV & Radio Overseas website.
If you are viewing or listening outside the UK, now is not the time to invest in any new equipment. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, currently uses the UK spotbeam on the Astra 1N satellite, this is soon to be replaced by Astra 2F. The two satellites are very similar, though the UK spotbeam on Astra 2F differs from that of Astra 1N, it has less power.

by Troy from UK on 07-12-2012 11:38:00

the bbc licence fee has no connection with freeview or sky... the licence fee is a licence to use a device that receives tv transmissions.. you actually by law need a licence to listen to teh radio but it's never been bothered with for decades!

by steve gee from Other on 07-12-2012 05:53:00

need the channels to stay or my wife will go crazy.
as for watching on the internet, that requires a decent connection which PT have been unable to supply us with for the last 12 months.

by steve from Lisbon on 07-12-2012 02:08:00

So what? It's nothing to be concerned about. I would be more concerned with wages, taxes and the cost of living. They're living in Portugal. When I lived in the UK I didn't expect to have Portuguese satelite TV at home. No wonder some if not most immigrants speak little or no Portuguese, even if some have been living here for several years. Use the internet and you can find and watch those same British channels on the right websites, just as I used to do to watch Portuguese football.

by Reboltado from Porto on 07-12-2012 11:12:00

In the UK we have to pay a rip off BBC licence fee yet users of free view or sky all over the world do not pay.

by Troy from UK on 07-12-2012 10:51:00


by JHON from Açores on 07-12-2012 10:43:00
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