Over the festive season hundreds of bars and restaurants across Spain have been targeted by the National Policia, in a bid to crackdown on illegal broadcasting

The main focus of investigations are on the hundreds of bars and restaurants that are broadcasting football, boxing and cricket, plus many other sports, via unlicenced decoders.

The National Policia have swooped over the festive period, with decoders confiscated, and over a hundred people being investigated for their illegal use are now facing prosecution.

Despite Sky being at the forefront of sports broadcasting, it is still illegal to broadcast Sky in Spain. BT Sport are also a frontrunner when it comes to sports broadcasting.

Many people receive free UK television in Spain, having a satellite installed, programmes including BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV 1, C4, and a plethora of other channels, comprising sports, movies and news, all available to view for free.

However, Freeview is a free digital TV package available in the UK – but not in Spain. A UK only digital television system, it is transmitted from land-based television transmitter masts. Signals from terrestrial transmitters are not strong enough to reach Spain.

UK TV channels are available on free to air satellite systems, via free to air satellite in Spain.

Free to air means that there is no monthly subscription – unlike pay TV channels offered on satellite packages offered by Sky TV.

A Sky digibox and other digital satellite receivers are used to receive free to air signals.

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UK free to air TV channels are also available by installing a small satellite dish and a digital satellite set top box.

Spain has a version of Freeview, in Television Digital Terrestrial (TDT) receiving Spanish digital channels.

The clampdown on illegal broadcasting is gathering pace – not just in Spain’s bars and restaurants – but also in private residences. A similar exercise is also ongoing in the UK where hundreds of bars and restaurants using illegal broadcasting in recent years have been prosecuted.

The installation of a 2.4Mt dish and registration of your Skycard to a UK address, has led to people continuing to use Sky over the years.

Companies re-broadcast Sky, via a small dish or Microwave transmitter; contracted with a number of Re-Broadcasters.

Sky are aware that registered UK addresses have been used in Spain, via a Skycard, in breach of the terms and conditions of a contract. Receiving Sky TV from a re-broadcaster is illegal.

The Guardia have been raiding and shutting down businesses for years. It will be no different in 2020.

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