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One of the things I negotiated to have included in my monthly rent was satellite TV, and, after a few hiccups that included visits by the TV guy at odd hours, everything appears to be up and running.  So, last night I took some time to look through all 375 channels I get and see which ones were in English or were otherwise interesting.

The vast majority of channels come through the Hotbird satellite (though I’m not sure which of the three Hotbirds I use), and I was pretty excited to see what I’d find when I started scrolling through and watching bits of various channels.  The excitement was quick to wane.

I’d discovered that expat Italians make up an inconceivably large worldwide diaspora, or that there’s a ton of people in Italy itself that watch satellite television, or that some programming dude at Hotbird just looooooves himself sexualized Italian variety shows . . .

What's Italian for "I read it for the articles"?

What's Italian for "I read it for the articles"?

. . . but whatever the case, there were simply a ton of Italian channels on my TV last night.  Out of 375 channels, I’d say a good 100 of them were Italian.  All the Rai networks (aka Berlusconi TV) were there, plus all sorts of regional channels (say hello Napoli!).  If I ever wanted to practice my Italian language skills via phone sex, well, I now have no less than eight (8!) options beckoning me from my television.  Cooking channels, home shopping channels, bizarro game show channels, you name it, and I have an Italian version of it on my TV in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

I also have some English channels, but between the propaganda organs of various governments and the stridently evangelical preachers, there’s not a lot of choice; here are my English options and other channels of interest (with language indicated in parenthesis if not English and a brief description in italics if needed):

Channel Name
35 Gem sitcoms
68 All Music
72 CCTV9
73 Al Jazeera International
92 TV5 Monde Europe (Fr.)
96 NHK World
136 France 24
170 Bloomberg Europe
172 Bloomberg UK
191 MusicLife
200 Dubai Sports (Ar.)
203 Al Arabiya (Ar.)
216 RAI Sport (It.)
239 High Life TV
267 KICC Christian African
270 3ABN Christian US
271 VTV4 Vietnamese
275 Arirang (Kr.)
292 Loveworld Christian Caribbean
352/355 BBC World
353 Sunshine
370 Luxe.TV (Fr.)
384 AIT South African

Suffice to say, I think I’ll be watching a good bit of the Beeb.

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