BBC TV Channels on Satellite and Frequencies Costa Blanca Spain
BBC TV in Spain
Since 29 July 2003, all domestic BBC TV channels are are available for free on satellite, without viewing card or subscription. They are classed as “free to air” channels, and can be received on most digital satellite receivers, including Sky digiboxes and Freesat set top boxes. The channels were transmitted from the Astra 2D satellite with its “spot beam”, aimed at the UK. This tried to limit reception of BBC channels in Europe. To some extent this worked, as some areas of Spain, like the Costa Blanca, had to use large 1.8m satellite dishes, 1.9m satellite dishes, and 2.4m satellite dishes to watch BBC TV channels. Some areas of Spain were more lucky, like the Costa del Sol, where they could use the smaller “125x135cm” ( or a “1.4m” ) satellite dish.
In February 2012, the BBC channels moved from the Astra 2D satellite, to a temporary home on the Astra 1N satellite. The Astra 1N satellite “signal footprint” is more generous to expats in Spain, and so the BBC channels on Astra 1N could be received on a satellite dish as small as 90x100cm, a “1m” satellite dish.
During February 2014, the remaining BBC channels on Astra 1N moved to their new satellite, Astra 2E.
The new Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G satellites UK “spot beam” or “narrow beam” signal footprint is different to the previous UK TV satellites UK beam. This has meant that reception of BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites will be different to previous reception. In the areas between Valencia and Alicante, our service area, the BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam can still be received on a small satellite dish – as small as a 110x120cm satellite dish with a 125x135cm satellite dish being the recommended size satellite dish.
However, in other areas of Spain, reception of these BBC channels on the new Astra 2 satellites UK beam has become harder. For example, in areas such as Barcelona, Catalonia and Zaragoza, you need at least a 1.8m satellite dish to receive these channels on the Astra 2F UK beam, whereas previously you only needed a smaller 80cm satellite dish. It is a similar story in the south of Spain, in areas like the Costa del Sol, Malaga, Almeria, Seville, Gibraltar and even Portugal, where even the larger 2.4m satellite dishes are struggling to receive these channels on the Astra 2 satellites UK beam.
The expected mission lifespan of the current UK TV satellites, Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G is approximately 12 to 15 years. So we can expect no further changes to reception of BBC channels via satellite until around 2025.
UK television licence fee
The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The BBC is funded principally by an annual television licence fee. The UK television licence fee is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts.
A TV licence must be obtained for any device that is “installed or used” for “receiving a television programme at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is received by members of the public”. According to TV Licensing, “You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, digital box, DVD or video recorder, PC, laptop or mobile phone to watch or record television programmes as they’re being shown on TV”. Portable televisions and similar equipment such as laptops and mobile phones powered by internal batteries are covered for use anywhere under a licence held for their owner’s residence.
However, living in Spain means that you do not have to pay the UK television licence fee, since it only applied to properties in the UK.
Contrary to what some people think, paying the UK television licence fee in the UK does not entitle you to watching UK TV outside the UK. You must adhere to the television licence fee laws of the countries you are living in. For Spain, you do not require a television licence fee to watch television from Spain or any other EU country.
BBC TV Channels: