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Sky TV : Legal in Spain or Not ?

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 6th Aug 2009

Ask any of the armchair experts propping up the bars around Spain for their advice on anything concerning British TV and how to get it, and I'll bet you will be bombarded with a multitude of varying Information. The problem is that you will not get a definitive answer as to what exactly is considered legal or illegal, despite what any of the Installation companies will tell you is the case, and all but a small number of them are only looking out for self-interest anyway.

The unofficial line, and the most practised one, is that by installing a 2.4Mt dish and registering your Sky card to a UK address, you can continue to use sky in exactly the same way as you would in the UK. There are also a number of companies that re-broadcast Sky via number of different methods, including a smaller dish or Microwave transmitter; however your contract then would be with the Re-Broadcaster.

The popular held belief is that although it is not legal to receive Sky outside of the UK, that Sky is essentially turning a blind eye to this. They know it happens, and as long as the user is registered to a UK address they seem happy to ignore the fact that the user is breach of the terms & conditions of their contract. Receiving Sky TV from a re-broadcaster is not only highly illegal, but it is open to abuse by the Installer and you will often find that a number of months down the line the signal will be corrupted after you have paid your money out, with no comeback. Recently the Guardia have been raiding and shutting down such businesses, which leaves the customer with no TV at all, even if they have paid up front for a service in good faith.

I scoured the net for a definitive answer as to exactly what the situation is , to no avail , and contacted Sky directly also. I received a reply on e mail, which basically did absolutely nothing to clarify the situation and just served to further my belief that they are avoiding the issue. My belief is that they are simply biding their time until they receive a licence from the Spanish Government to broadcast legally over here, by which time they will already have an established database of users ready to take revenue from. As it stands, by assisting their users to bend the rules, (and even to invalidate the terms & conditions of their contract, that Sky themselves have laid down) they can still take revenue with full deniability if - and when things should go wrong.

As a legal alternative, Spanish digital TV in many cases also provides sub-titles for programmes and films that were originally produced in the English Langauge. This is a particularly good option for anybody wishing to learn the Spanish Language but still has the benefit of having many programmes available in English.

Unfortunately I can’t offer any advice other than not to listen to anybody who claims that they have a definitive answer as to what can and can not be done legally.

Comment on this Blog

Since uploading this blog, you may be interested to know that Telitec are now offering FREE ENGLISH TV on-line when the user has a Europa ADSL contract - see the "FREE ENGLISH TV" Blog in our directory for more details !
Tumbit - Admin - Wed, 10th Mar 2010

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