English TV in Eastern Europe

The year 2009, not 1989 or  1999, yet it seems the majority of European Countries still don’t broadcast english TV.  This is not so much a problem if you’re just passing through on vacation, but I’ll tell you, as an English speaker living abroad, you really do miss watching TV in your own language.

Most westerners sign up for some kind of satelite or cable package, while in the US or UK, these packages might not be “cheap”, they are certainly affordable for the average man. Bottomline the average westerner in 2009 is used to having 20 or more watchable channels to flick through. Its true, most people, even die hard IT geeks also enjoy chilling out, just watching a movie, some sport or a wildlife documentary. Most of us, at least once a day.

Recently I tried to find a solution to my dylemna, an English Speaker, wanting English TV in Eastern Europe. These are my findings.

My first thought was – I’ll just find an internet TV provider to subscribe to, pay them 20-30 dollars a month and get it over with. I have to tell you, such a service does not exist. Amazingly in 2009 native Internet TV broadcasting stations do not exist. Gobsmacked, how about you?

I did manage to track down some legal relay services for established TV providers, such as Sky or BBC. I was amazed to discover English TV in Eastern Europe is a bonefide luxury, this might astonish you, the price of English TV in Eastern Europe per month is about the same price as your monthly payments would be on a new mid ranged car. It’s daylight robbery. Let me pull out the quotes.

In Czech Republic 40 Czech TV channels via cable cost you 300 crowns a month – approx 10 pounds. There are no hidden or additional fees.

For 40 English TV channels – this is what you’re in for no less than 3000 crowns or around 100 pounds, this includes a setup box, and another 125 pounds a year Sky retainer. This price is also not realistic, because it does not include the satelite dish, any of the hidden costs or taxes. I should also point out that while in UK people are earning a pound based salary, some people in Eastern Europe don’t earn much more than 400 pounds a month. I found another bold company offering Sky via an internet stream, all completely legal because you need to buy a Sky subscription before they’ll stream you. All this for over 4000 crowns a month, quality not great.

Its just kinda frustraing there are a lot of English speaking people in Europe with no affordable TV solution in our own language. Even 1 provider offering 5 English channels would make this place seem so much more like home.

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