UK TV Satellites
The UK Satellite TV channels like BBC, ITV and Sky TV are broadcast from a series of satellites located at 28.2 to 28.5 degrees east.
Previous UK TV satellites have been Astra 2A, Astra 2B Astra 2C, Astra 2D and Eurobird 1 / Eutelsat 28A.
These satellites transmit signals aimed at Europe but the coverage on the ground varies considerably, due to the beams the satellites transmit their signals on.
The two old satellites, Astra 2A satellite and Astra 2B satellite, have two beams, a north beam and a south beam. The north beam is / was harder to receive in Spain than the south beam. This is why some UK Satellite TV channels were unavailable mid afternoon, even on the larger satellite dishes.
The Astra 2D satellite had a narrow beam or spot beam, heavily focused on the UK. This beam used to carry the BBC and ITV channels, and this beam was the reason why areas of Spain like the Costa Blanca required big 1.8m and 2.4m satellite dishes.
It is also worth noting that the BBC TV, ITV, Sky TV and other channels on the satellite do not own any satellites; they just rent the frequencies on them from the satellite owners – Astra. It is, therefore, a misconception that “Sky change the signal footprints of the satellites” as in fact the signal footprints are determined many months before the satellite is even built!