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November 2010, 12/11/2010

Dear Valued Readers,

In this feature we will describe to you the various options for watching TV in Bulgaria and even how you can watch Sky TV.

Sky TV:
For those who cannot live without British TV it is possible to have a Sky system installed in Bulgaria. Due to the licensing arrangements between Sky TV and the various film companies, Sky TV can only officially be subscribed to by residents of the UK and the ROI. In effect unless you bring out your own Sky box/card you are unable to subscribe direct to Sky TV from Bulgaria. To get around this hurdle there are companies that can arrange the UK address and Sky contract for you - but at a price. They have been operating for years throughout the world and Sky tends to turn a blind eye to the activity because they still, at the end of the day, receive the revenue from the subscriptions. I am sure you have seen many bars around the world broadcasting Sky Sports etc. Now one of these companies is operating a dealership in Bulgaria through Balkan Satellite (www.balkansatellite.com; tel. 0885770177). The setup costs are higher because the Sky boxes they supply are not heavily subsidized like the UK Sky boxes and the Sky card has to be paid for (this is provided free of charge in the UK). They would also need to install a 1.5 meter dish to receive the channels (although the BBC channels are not obtainable). Once the equipment is installed they subscribe you to whichever Sky Pack you choose just like in the UK. Prices for the Sky packs start from as little as £19 per month. Balkan Satellite are also able to supply the new Freesat service from Sky which involves no monthly subscription just a one-off payment for installation and the equipment. Freesat provides access to all the free-to-air TV channels such as Channel 4, FIVE, ITV, Sky News, BBC NEWS etc.

 
Terrestrial TV (through the aerial):  

The 3 main national channels BTV, BNT1 and Nova TV are all available free using your TV aerial. The reception is not great and the content is mainly in Bulgarian although some films are aired in English.

 

Bulgarian Cable and Satellite Services:  

Most people opt to watch TV in Bulgaria using one of these options. Cable comes into the property, as the name implies, through a cable but is not widely available outside urban areas. Satellite is available in almost every location. The content they air is broadly similar however the cable channels tend to be mainly aired in Bulgarian whilst the satellite channels are often aired in English. The content of both is extensive including knowledge based programming (ie Discovery), films and the excellent Diema sports channels which air many Premiership games (in Bulgarian). The costs of both cable and satellite are low (in comparison to the UK) with monthly subscriptions averaging at 20 BGN. Picture quality on the cable broadcasts is generally lower but tends to suffer less from adverse weather conditions that can effect satellite reception.

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