SKY, BBC & ITV IN SPAIN & PORTUGAL
See our news page for the latest information on Astra 2E and loss of BBC & ITV.
On 6th February, 2014 most free UK TV services were transferred to a new satellite, Astra 2E.
The move of channels to Astra 2E and Astra 2F has proven catastrophic for viewers of public service channels in southern Spain, Portugal, and parts of eastern and southern Europe.
These areas have lost almost all of the BBC, ITV, Channels Four and Five, leaving just the paid-for Sky channels. (With one exception, see the news page)
Channel Five HD and ITV2 HD, ITV3 HD, ITV4 HD, Film Four HD, More4 HD and E4 HD can be viewed as pay channels from Sky (minimum £32.00 per month with Entertainment Extra + pack)
Satellites in service at 28.2º EastAstra 1N is being moved to 19º east to serve mainland Europe. Astra 2C will be moved back to 28.2º. Astra 2A will remain in position. Astra 2B is out of service in a temporary position and will eventually be at 19º East.
Astra 2E, 2F and 2GAstra 2F went into service in November 2012
Astra 2E was launched on September 29th 2013 and went into service on 6th. February 2014.
Astra 2G will be launched in the second quarter of 2014.
All are Astrium - built Eurostar 3000 models, with higher power but narrower, more focussed beams. They are replacements for Astra 2A, Astra 2B and Astra 2D.
Sky, Subscriptions and the BBC.
Subscribing to Sky will not bring back the lost BBC channels. They appear in the Sky guide but are free to receive, if you can get a signal.
All BBC channels, on both the Freesat and Sky platforms, have moved to Astra 2F and Astra 2E's narrow UK beams.
The FutureIt's likely that the majority of subscription Sky channels, including Sky Movies and Sky Sports, will still be receivable on small dishes in much of the continent after February 2014, but it's by no means certain. In the future, watching TV over the internet may be the only option for expats.