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, MediaStreamz, 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 atMediaStreamz, 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.