Home » Spain » Living » Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in Spain

Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in Spain

Submitted: July 2013

Spain is the home of world-class entertainment. Over the last few decades, the Spanish film industry has enjoyed international success. During your work assignment in Spain, you should definitely consider experiencing this growing art form and seeing a film or two by award-winning director, Pedro Almodovar. There are cinemas in almost every corner of Spain and more so in the bigger cities. When selecting a movie, be sure to see if it is being screened in the language of your choice. Titles will be advertised at the cinema most likely as either “VO” (Version Original) i.e the original language in which it was filmed, or “VOS” (Version Original Subtitulada) i.e. the original language is screened but there are subtitles.

Spain also boasts a number of festivals throughout the year. The Semana Grande in Bilbao (in the Basque Country) is held in the third week in August. There are a number of concerts with various genres of music. Other attractions at the festival include the ‘strong-man competition’ and the large puppets. The White Night festival has also made its way from Paris to Madrid. For one night in September, a number of Madrid museums will be open to the  public for free. There are also several free concerts, theatre performances street art and other entertainment throughout the city. If in Madrid, another enjoyable experience is the Autumn festival (Festival de Otono) which also entails an array of entertainment and, of course, food.

For a rather comprehensive guide on entertainment options in the various regions in Spain, do visit - https://www.guiadelocio.com/ (Spanish).

Thinking of bringing that 42” television with you to Spain? Be sure that it will be able to receive the TV signals. Spain uses the PAL system such that a TV set up to receive signals of another systems (e.g. NTSC) will not display properly.

Spain has 35 television channels with the main ones being: La Uno, TVE, Antena 3, Cuatro, Tele5 and Canal Plus. For football aficionados, Canal Plus offers a subscription services so you can stay abreast of the premier league football as well as other sports. With Terrestrial Digital Televions (TDT) you will be able to access these channels and enjoy better image and sound quality. There are satellite TV options as well. You will need most likely to install a satellite dish. While most satellite dishes are relatively small, if you are getting a satellite dish installed which is over 1.9metres in diameter, you may need to obtain planning permission from the Local Council (el Ayuntamiento) depending on the local rules in place.

Do note that not all Spanish stations will have subtitled programmes. In fact, English and American programmes are often dubbed (voiced over) in Spanish. You may be able to change the settings on your television such that you will be able to receive the programme in its original language. Additionally, there are various websites you can now access which may have your favourite television programmes from your home country. Apple itunes also allows you purchase various television series.

Other common forms of media in Spain are the radio and newspaper. The radio stations in Spain are either national or regional. There are seven commercial national radio stations, the broadcasts of which are in Spanish. There are several regional English language radio stations in Spain (especially in Costa del Sol) and a handful of other foreign language regional radio stations including Russian, Swedish, Dutch and German.

For a listing of English language radio stations, do see https://www.eyeonspain.com/radio/radio-stations-spain.aspx

In addition, Spain has a national public radio broadcaster, Radio Nacional Espanola (RNE).  RNE operates six radio stations  - Radio Nacional, Radio Clasica, Radio 3, Radio 4, Radio 5 and Radio Exterior de Espana. Each caters to different tastes.



Moving to Spain

If you are considering moving to Spain or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Spain section including; details of immigration and visas, Spanish forums, Spanish event listings and service providers in Spain.


Living in Spain

From your safety to shoppingliving in Spain can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Spain with relevant news and up-to-date information.


Working in Spain

Working in Spain can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Spain, and general Spanish culture of the labour market.



Spanish Expat News Headlines

Spanish Expat Service Providers

1st Move International HTLC Network Group Global Tax Network (GTN) Expat Financial Expatriate Healthcare

Spanish Expat Tools