Aug 232013

This is an article / advertising feature that appeared in an expat “newspaper” under the heading of “Spain faces UK TV turn-off” – which is yet another example of misleading and incorrect information about UK TV in Spain and the “rumoured” UK TV Switch Off in Spain”!

RESIDENTS of Spain will find themselves without British television next month if the re-scheduled launch of the Astra 2E rocket is successful.

The rocket is due to blast-off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on September 15, replacing the existing device and providing free-to-air and encrypted direct-to-home digital TV and satellite broadband services for Europe and the Middle East.

The new satellite, however, will not broadcast BBC television channels or radio stations to Spain, leaving residents that receive transmissions through their satellite dishes without the extensive range of British channels.

Mike Crompton, proprietor of an internet tv provider, said: “So far only the BBC has made any formal statement. Alix Pryde, the Corporation’s director of communications, said the new satellite would signal the end of BBC broadcasts in Spain as it looks to focus on the quality of service transmitted to license fee payers in the UK.

“But the signs for other channels are not good. Be prepared to lose your free to air British TV via your satellite dish setup in the not too distant future.”

ITV were unavailable to comment at the time of writing.


Those viewing via IPTV, a service which provides broadcast via your broadband connection, will not be affected by the change and concerned viewers are being advised to switch to an IPTV provider as soon as possible to avoid being left without the channels.

Crompton said: “We are preparing for a surge in demand for our IPTV service , but we urge viewers to get in touch sooner rather than later so they are not affected by the change.”

The rocket was originally scheduled for launch in July, but was postponed following the failure of the preceding Proton launch.

The Proton-M crashed seconds after take-off, exploding into a fireball and contaminating the crash site with around 500 tonnes of poisonous fuel.

An investigation into the crash found that one of the parts had been incorrectly fitted, causing the rocket to head towards the ground rather than skywards.



Our thoughts and views after someone sent us the article:

A potential scare story, as until the new satellite is launched, tested, positioned, and operational, no-one will know what reception or what sized dish you will need. And this is expected to be late October / November – so no immediate rush.

Some BBC channels are already on the first new satellite, and are accessible on an 80/90/100cm satellite dish in some areas of Spain, like the Valencia area. But yes in other areas of Spain such as Barcelona, Andalucia, and Costa del Sol, a 1.8 or 2,.4m or larger satellite dish may be required – which proved that many of these articles are very general in their information, ,yet actual satellite signal reception is very area specific, and varies a great deal around Spain.

It is all down to signal overspill, and although the “beams” will be UK focussed, there will be overspill into other areas – like there has been overspill onto other areas for the last 20+ years.

The theory is that if you can receive Channel 5, which has been on the first new satellite since December 2012, then you should, in theory, be able to receive any channels on the seconds new satellite, since the satellites are the same make model and have the same footprint. So it could be that many people will not notice any change, but until it hap[pens no-one knows for sure, and anyone saying they know is only guessing.

The article also references someone from the BBC which something she did not say – “Alix Pryde, the Corporation’s director of communications, said the new satellite would signal the end of BBC broadcasts in Spain as it looks to focus on the quality of service transmitted to license fee payers in the UK.”
Here is the article used for this “quote” –
where she says : “The overspill of the BBC’s services will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them”
“Harder” – not “the end of”.

Is it weird or coincidence that many of these stories / articles come form people selling IPTV services. (someone phoned me recently asking if it was true that everyone would lose ALL UK TV, including all Sky channels in August 2013 – surprise surprise this came from someone living in their village selling “IPTV” android boxes that stream UK TV via the internet). IPTV / internet is fine if you find you are in an area that will have no satellite signal, but:

– why buy an IPTV / Internet TV streaming system now when it may not actually be needed

– how do these IPTV sellers know what the signal will be like when the satellite has yet to be launched – I dare say the satellite owners and engineers do not actually know what the actual reception will be like in Spain!

– although changes will affect Spain, in some areas it could be for the better, others for the worse – as we have found from the first new satellite.

– no matter what you will not lose ALL UK TV channels, as some channels are on a “European” beam, designed for European coverage, and some channels are on satellites not affected by the change over.

– most of these IPTV systems / android boxes simply use the free uktv streams from filmon, or the free XBMC software – so no need to buy anything anyway, as they are available for free on a PC or android tablet!

– if you can get a satellite signal you can benefit from full HD live TV (BBC1HD, BBC2HD, ITV1HD, C4HD, C5HD – and soon more HD from the BBC), something which these IPTV services cannot yet offer – with many live TV streams less than standard definition resolution. Why have a nice 50″ HDTV and supply it with a sub standard definition internet signal ? That’s like having a Ferrari and putting in an engine from a 2CV!


And here are a few comments from other readers of the article:

“I do wish the O***e P***s would stop giving space to these expensive IPTV providers when nobody knows which parts of Spain are going to be affected by the satellite switch or whether a larger dish will solve the problem. Until the switch over is complete nobody can say for sure what is going to be lost or gained.”

“I remember similar concerns when the BBC changed to Astra 2D ten years ago, and only the Costa Blanca was affected.”