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Watch the 2016 Olympics live on UK TV this month

It only seems like yesterday that the curtain came down on the 2012 Olympics in London yet, here we are now preparing for yet another games, this time in the South American land of the Samba in Brazil.

Sadly, before the games have even began, it appears they won’t be getting started at all for many. With the Zika virus outbreak filling the front pages over the past few months, many sportsmen and women have decided not to attend the games for fear of the potential health risks going to Brazil presents.

For starters, it seems like half the field in the golf profession have decided to stay put due to the clear and present risk of being bitten by mosquitos in the wet and exposed conditions of the golf courses. Fans of the sport will be desperately disappointed to learn that names such as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Graeme McDowell and even Rory McIlroy will not be attending this time around. It’s a huge blow to the organisers.

In other news, many tennis players are also considering their positions with many of the sports top players including Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem, John Isner and Feliciano Lopez all electing to play elsewhere instead of the games.

Whoever does go knows a weakened field means a better chance of a medal.

Russia are in hot water over a major doping scandal

To add insult to injury, it now appears clear that the Russian team are about to get thrown out of the games, making the entire spectacle seem like a farce before the opening ceremony has even began!

After an in-depth investigation, it has come to light that a state sponsored doping programme was in operation during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, revealing a systematic programme of cheating right across the board. Very sad indeed.

No decision has been made as yet but it would be a huge surprise if after consulting lawyers that Russia are barred from attending the games in any way shape or form.

Will this be a clean Olympic games?

Assuming Russia do not attend, we have to look on the positive side and see that this could represent a fairer and cleaner Olympic games. With such systematic doping being exposed, it would take an extremely lucky or calculated individual to get away with such an approach in Rio.

What this means now is that clean, honest athletes can now go out there and compete, knowing that whoever wins in their respective sport is more than likely a deserved winner. No more “what ifs” of the past when past gold medalists were found to be cheats and later stripped of their medal, denying the others their moment in the limelight.

So let’s look forward to a great spectacle of sport and hope that the hysteria over the Zika outbreak is overblown and the sports is just as inspiring and captivating as it was in London.

You can catch the entire Olympic games 2016 in Rio from Friday, August 5 until Sunday, August 21 on the BBC.

#olympics #rio2016 #sports #olympicgames #brazil 

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England limps out of yet another tournament!

It was inevitable. Like years gone by, the rhetoric of this squads potential, the talented youth and desire to finally break through as a real contender fell flat as always. Roy Hodgson’s England were frankly pathetic.

Having got their tournament off to what appeared to be a great start against Russia, that last minute equaliser to end the opening game at a score of 1-1 proved to be a decisive blow. Not on who England would eventually face in the knock out stages but how they would approach their next matches and show their usual vulnerabilities. England were clearly mentally weak, unable to contain teams and see games out to the final whistle.

Their last minute victory over a brave and ambitious Wales team in the next game, frankly papered over the cracks and Hogson’s questionable decision to rest key players and place unproven squad members into unfamiliar positions in their final group game against Slovakia exposed an overconfidence that was clearly undue. Worst of all, his decision to have this season’s top scoring Golden Boot winner Harry Kane take corners and free kicks was frankly bazaar. The curse of the England manager was undoubtedly starting to take hold. The game ended with a tame goalless draw which left most fans scratching their heads.

England shamefully finished second in Group B behind a deservedly first placed Wales. What was to come in the knock out stages however, was a far bigger embarrassment.

On paper, England were given the perfect draw. Iceland, in their first major tournament in history and with a population of just over 330,000 humbled England and made them look like strangers. Their organised, pressing style had them completely dumbfounded, with no answer, no cutting edge and worse of all, no desire. England looked lost and rudderless. They were humiliated, losing 2-1 to a deserved victorious Icelandic team that took inspiration from Premier League title winning Leicester’s hard working and methodical approach. It clearly worked and exposed Roy Hodgson to be seriously lacking in tactical nous, inspiration or footballing prowess. England were going home and so too, was Hodgson gone from his job within hours.

The Welsh dragons are flying high

Chris Coleman’s Wales, driven on by the inspired Gareth Bale couldn’t be anything further from the rudderless England team. On Friday night, they take on a very impressive looking Belgium team who appear to be getting into gear after their swift demolition job of Hungary. But anyone writing off the Welsh in this game would be foolish to do so. Having already seen two convincing victories in Group B against Russia and Slovakia, two teams England failed to beat, they are a team that is brimming with confidence and firing on all cylinders.

It promises to be a fantastic match and could potentially be the match of the tournament. Both Belgium and Wales are attacking teams, with their defences looking a tad uncertain and vulnerable at times. With the tournament so far lacking goals and displaying a habit of late strikes thus far, the tournament really needs a hotly contested match to bring it to life. Perhaps this could it?

You can see the match live on BBC One from 7:30pm. Come on Wales!

Who’s the favourites to win Euro 2016?

The biggest match of the second round was undoubtedly Italy v Spain, a match the defending champions were humbled in by a highly impressive Italian team, coached by the soon to be Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Italy ended up winners by a 2-0 scoreline but it frankly could have been more. Italy looked highly impressive. They were organised, had the lions share of the ball and humbled defending European champions Spain into looking like a very average team.

Italy are certainly one’s to watch. They face the highly fancied Germans this coming Saturday night from 7:30pm, again live on BBC One. That could be a cracker!

England’s conquerers Iceland, have the unenviable job of facing hosts France, whilst Poland take on misfiring Portugal. Both of those matches should go the favourites way but in a tournament full of surprises, who knows?

So who will win Euro 2016? In our opinion, the eventual winners of the huge clash between Italy and German have to be favourites to win. The fancied Belgians have a habit of falling at the last hurdle, Portugal look like they are feeling the pressure from back home and hosts France for us, still look like they can be beaten if pressed and harried.

Anyone betting against World Champions Germany to win it would be a brave person!

#Euro2016   #Football   #Wales   #Belgium  

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Get set for a bumper month of sporting choice!

We’re now well into the summer months and aside from the inclement weather across Europe of late, these next 30 days promise to bring a ray of sunshine to sporting enthusiasts on UK television. June is literally packed with major events day after day, week after week.

Here’s our rundown of the sporting events not to be missed on UK terrestrial television this June 2016:

Tennis – French Open, Roland Garros

It’s fair to say it been pretty wet in Paris for the first week of the year’s second grand Slam tournament. Wednesday 30th May was a complete wash out, the first in decades and today hasn’t looked much better either. However, we have to stay positive and the weather gods promise us much warmer temperatures and sunnier skies for the second week of the famous clay court tournament. Hopefully it will finish on schedule come Sunday 5th June.

Live coverage is currently being aired daily on ITV4.

Horse Racing – Derby, Epsom

Fans of horse racing and betting will be looking forward to this years Derby. According to the latest bookies reports, “US Army Ranger” and “Wings of Desire” are the favourites but most pundits believe the race is wide open this year. So if you fancy a flutter, “Red Verdon” might be a good bet at 25-1 (at the time of writing).

Live coverage of this year’s festival can be seen on Channel 4, June 4th.

Football – Euro 2016, France

With three home nations in the shape of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus the Republic of Ireland going to this year’s European Championships, there’s a great deal more interest in Britain for our home countries to do well than years gone by. England’s young lions may spring a few surprises whilst Wales, in their first major tournament for 57 years, will look to talisman Gareth Bale to light up the tournament in the same group as England.

We have a full live match schedule in a previous blog post so you have no excuses to miss any of the live football action coming your way next month!

Live coverage of the tournament is shared across the BBC and ITV.

Formula 1 – Canadian & Azerbaijan Grand Prix

With Lewis Hamilton recently winning in Monaco and arch rival Nico Rosberg only finishing 7th, do we finally have an F1 season battle developing? The standings now look a great deal closer after the Brit’s win with just 24 points separating the two Mercedes drivers. With a great record in Canada, can Lewis close the gap further and put increased pressure on the German? We’ll have to wait and see!

Live coverage of both races can be seen on Channel 4.

Tennis – Queens Club & Wimbledon

And finally… as we began the month’s roundup, we end it with tennis, at the start of the years grass court season, beginning with the Wimbledon warm up tournament at The Queens Club, followed by the main even at SW19 for the world’s most famous grand slam tournament at Wimbledon.

No one can really predict who will win this year’s tournament but with world number 1 Novak Djokovic looking in unbeatable form, few will look past the Serb to retain his trophy again this summer.

Live coverage will be aired daily across the BBC. #sport   #football   #tennis   #f1   #formula1   #live  

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Pause, record & playback every match any time!

This summer’s most anticipated sporting event is just over a month away and here at, we want you to enjoy the best coverage direct from the UK, no matter where you live.

Both BBC and ITV share the coverage of this year’s major footballing tournament and with three home nations including England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, plus the Republic of Ireland all going to France to compete amongst the 24 teams all hoping to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy and claim it from current European Champions Spain, there’s never been a more hotly anticipated summer tournament in recent years.

Watch every game, no matter which timezone you’re in

If you want to watch every match at your leisure, to your own time schedule – then our Blade Stream IPTV set-top box is the perfect answer! Our powerful little MAG250 box automatically records all the major terrestrial networks, meaning you can use the integrated 7-day catch up service to roll-back and watch each and every game as you wish. Even download your favourite matches to a USB storage device and keep them to watch again and again.

So if you’re based own under in Australia or way our in the far East and timezones make it hard for you to watch the live game, watch them the next day straight from your box using the automatic recordings. The Blade Stream box is the perfect answer for anyone living in a different timezone to the UK, yet still wants to enjoy UK television where they live.

Get your box in time!

Order your Blade box today to ensure it gets delivered in time for the start of the European Championships next month. There’s also tons of other great shows you can enjoy from over 50 UK terrestrial channels including all the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 stations plus Five and much, much more.

So get ready for a great summer of sport on British TV and enjoy the best coverage direct from Great Britain!

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Finally, the clocks have switched to BST (British Summer Time) and we can all look forward to longer evenings, and hopefully some warmer days in the UK.

If like most of our customers, you’re probably overseas and not too concerned with the persistent issue of British weather. You’re more likely to be concerned with ensuring you don’t miss out on some of the current and upcoming entertainment on the box. If so, what’s worth tuning into or catching up with on-demand?

Here’s our run down of shows you might want to schedule into your recording programmer:

Travel Man

8:30pm, Friday, 1 April 2016, Chanel 4

This week geeky fan favourite Richard Ayoade, takes larger than life comedian Jo Brand on an action-packed city break to Venice. The odd couple don’t waste time getting immersed in Venetian culture as they do the usual gondola rides as well as savour the local cicchetti and go on a treasure hunt.

Don’t expect this to be any normal travel show. It’s awkward, strangely amusing and certainly must-see British viewing.

Tracks Across America

9:00pm, Friday, 1 April 2016, ITV

Staying on theme, tonight debuts Billy Connolly’s latest show, as he heads off on a 6,000-mile trip across many unseen parts of the USA. In this new three part mini-series, the comic travels to parts of America that you wouldn’t traditionally see in the holiday brochures. With his humorous take on life, its not your typical travel magazine show. Billy’s journey spans 26 US states, with tonight’s opening episode running from Chicago, Illinois all the way to to Seattle, Washington.

On the lighter side of life, it’s a great way to wrap up any working week!

Saturday Night Takeaway

7:00pm, Saturday, 2 April 2016, ITV

Harking back to the good old days of classic family entertainment, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway has become one of the must-see mainstays of weekend viewing for Brits up and down the country. If you haven’t caught the bug already then you better be quick, as this weekend’s show is the last in the present series.

The lads from Newcastle will be broadcasting the season finale live from a cruise liner in Barcelona, where last weeks contestants all won a cruise holiday each. It’s great fun and packed with laughs. Any British expat who misses good old fashioned British slapstick entertainment will be crazy to miss this one.

Formula 1

3:00pm, Sunday, 3 April 2016, Channel 4

Channel 4 gets the chance to broadcast their first ever live Formula One races this weekend in Bahrain, after taking over the reins from the BBC this year.

With Nico Rosberg winning last week’s season opening race in Melbourne, Australia, he’s laid down a marker to fiercest rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. With new qualifying rules in place and more engine tinkering, will this be an unmissable season or one to forget?

There’s only one way to find out.


10:00pm, Monday, 4 April 2016, ITV2

The weird yet wonderful third series of Plebs returns on Monday, with Maureen Lipman taking on the roles as a Roman landlady. The new series, set in 25 BC, picks off where the last series ended. Neighbours Cynthia and Metella, having been saved from deportation, look set to move elsewhere in Rome in an attempt get away from Marcus. Fans may remember he eventually ended up conducting a romantic relationship with each of the girls, without the other initially knowing. As you do!

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Unmissable new and returning series coming to a small screen near you!

The end of the winter season is close and with the turn of the month, comes some new and returning TV shows to UK free-to-air television. The past 12 months have proved to be a bumper period for original series coming from the British Isles and 2016 is set to continue that trend.

If you’re a far flung Brit on their travels or an expat living overseas who still likes to tune into original British drama and entertainment, here’s some shows that we recommend you set to record on your Blade Stream IPTV set-top box in the very near future:

The Aliens

Showing on E4 from 8th March 2016, The Aliens premieres on UK screens with it’s very first episode. A slightly satirical and in-your-face adventure into a world that is at once entirely familiar and completely strange, starring Michael Socha, Michaela Coel, Jim Howick, Michael Smiley and Ashley Walters. In its first outing, Lewis is a border guard at the checkpoint that patrols the wall, but after a chance encounter with mysterious alien Lilyhot, his life is thrown into turmoil.

Indian Summers

The second season of this popular series gets back underway on Channel 4 from 13th March 2016. It’s the summer of 1935; a season where old allegiances will be broken, new ones will be forged, unbridled passions run wild and revolution hangs heavy in the air.

An assassination attempt on the Viceroy Lord Willingdon (Patrick Malahide), and the surprise arrival of Lord Hawthorne (James Fleet), puts Ralph’s (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) future in the balance. Meanwhile, Cynthia’s (Julie Walters) Royal Simla Club plays host to an important royal guest, the Maharaja Maritpur (Art Malik) and his elegant and mysterious mistress Sirene (Rachel Griffiths).

Master of Sex

As yet to be confirmed, the third outing of the Michael Sheen led series will air on E4 this coming spring, in this drama based on real research into sexual dysfunction in the latter half of the twentieth century.


Scheduled to premiere on More 4 in the near future (as yet to be confirmed), this Belgian series is about five sisters who are very close, and decide to bump off the nasty husband of one of them, and then have to deal with the consequences.


There’s no exact date as yet for the return of this BBC Four series, set on the Welsh coast but we understand it is due for a spring return. As with the first series, it’ll likely premiere in three stages, firstly in Wales on S4C and then on BBC Wales as Y Gwyll in Welsh. The English language version will be broadcast on BBC Four to all four parts of the country shortly afterwards.

#freeview   #uktv   #iptv  

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Record, pause and rewind every goal of every football match!

The Emirates FA Cup heads into the fourth round this weekend with come cracking fixtures that could spring a few surprises, upsets and plenty of goals.

With a faltering season that goes from bad to worse, Manchester United head to Derby County in the first of this weekend’s matches on Friday evening. After yet another home defeat in the Premier League, this time to Southampton, Louis van Gaal’s men are under increasing pressure to turn their season around and get some kind of success; whether in the cups or a revived top four push.

Derby currently sit 5th in the Championship and will surely fancy their chances against a misfiring and predictable United that has fans bored, frustrated and calling for yet another new name at the helm. We think this is the match to watch and could prove to be the upset of the round. Tune into BBC One HD on your Blade set-top box for Match of the Day hosted by Gary Lineker this Friday evening, from 7:30pm GMT. And if you can’t watch it live, don’t worry! Your Blade box will automatically record the match so you won’t miss a minute of the action.

With 13 additional ties the following day, there’s also a jam packed Match of the Day to look forward to on Saturday night from 10:30pm. Tune into BBC One HD for Match of the Day to see every goal of every game.

Sunday has even more great sport

On Sunday afternoon, we are treated to even more live FA Cup football and potentially another upset!

Defending Premier League champions Chelsea have had a stuttering season, finding themselves languishing in the bottom half of the table. With Mourinho now gone and Guus Hiddink back as interim boss, they travel to Milton Keynes to face the MK Dons for a 4pm kick off in what could again be, another banana skin moment.

Again, you can see this exciting match live on BBC One using your Blade box. And don’t forget to catch the highlights of all of the rest of the day’s FA Cup ties on Sunday evening with Gary Lineker on BBC One HD from 10:30pm GMT.

If you can’t watch it live, simply use the 7-day catch up feature built into your Blade Stream IPTV set-top box! #FACup  

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Get ready for a new year of brand new shows on UK television

It’s just a matter of days now until we say farewell to 2015 and welcome in the new calendar year. And with the new season, comes a whole load of great TV shows scheduled to air very soon on British free-to-air television. Want to know what we think you should be watching? Here’s our pick of the bunch!

War & Peace, BBC One

Fans of Downton Abbey and period dramas rejoice! Lily James, James Norton, Jim Broadbent and Gillian Anderson lead an all-star cast in this highly anticipated adaption of Tolstoy’s epic story of the lives of five aristocratic Russian families living through the Napoleonic War. Adapted by Andrew Davies, famed for his highly rated BBC adaption of ‘Pride And Prejudice’, we’re expecting big things from this six-part mini series. Certainly one not to miss!

Queen Victoria, ITV

If one new period drama wasn’t enough for you then have two! Harnessing the massive popularity and appeal of Downton, ITV knew they’d left a gaping hole in their schedule with it’s departure. And so, to capture that audience demanding a replacement, ITV snapped up the acting services of Jenna Coleman of Dr. Who fame, giving her the lead role in this fascinating and insightful look into the life of the monarch, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert

The series has been created and written by acclaimed novelist Daisy Goodwin, in her screenwriting debut, who will also serve as executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch (Indian Summers) and Damien Timmer (Poldark). Anticipation for this one is hotting up, with a final airing date yet to be confirmed on ITV.

Love Nina, BBC One

There’s high hope’s for the adaption of Nina Stibbe’s 2013 book; a fictionalised account of her time nannying for a literary family in North London during the 1980’s. Nick Hornby takes the reins with scriptwriting, whilst popular actress Helena Bonham-Carter is cast as the forthright matriarch, with Nina herself played by Faye Marsay, of Games of Thrones fame.

Undercover, BBC One

Fans of Silk will be delighted as creator Peter Moffat has put together a brand new drama series with a kickass female lead. Sophie Okenedo stars as Maya, the first black Director Of Public Prosecutions; as her life comes under scrutiny in the media, she discovers that her husband, played by Adrian Lester, has been lying to her for years. But what’s his secret? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The Night Manager, BBC One

Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston star in this adaptation of famous spy novelist, John le Carré’s story about a secret corrupt alliance between the intelligence community and the arms trade. Hiddleston plays a former British soldier who must infiltrate their inner circle with the help of arms dealer Laurie. Initial reviews have been positive, stating the show is smart and exhilarating.

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It’s that time of year again when we start to look ahead to the festive period and plan our lazy days in front of the telly with family, friends and loved ones. Whether you’re aboard or in the UK, the Christmas period is always jammed packed with great entertainment for all ages and tastes and this year is no different. Whether it’s Downton Abbey’s final hurrah or the usual cliffhangers in the soaps, here’s our rundown of the shows you dare not miss this holiday season:

The Sound of Music – Live

With a final date still yet to be confirmed, ITV will be broadcasting a two-and-a-half hour adaptation of The Sound of Music live, starring Kara Tointon as Maria and Julian Ovenden as Captain Georg von Trapp. He and Kara are joined by Katherine Kelly as Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Alexander Armstrong as Max Detweiler.

Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special

The BBC will take us back to The Blackpool Tower again, as the stars of this year’s Strictly hit the dancefloor to display their best moves for a festive show for all the family. After officially leaving his long standing post and retiring from television presenting in 2013, Bruce Forsyth will be making a welcome return to co-host alongside Tess Daley. And as a Brucey bonus, Take That have been confirmed as musical guests for this one off festive extravaganza!

Cilla Black Tribute Special

As one of TV’s most loved stars, 2015 saw the sudden loss of the hugely popular Cilla Black, who unexpectedly died in August this year. As a fitting tribute to her legacy, ITV will be transmitting a show dedicated to her life on television and in music. A source close to ITV has reportedly stated that “they see Cilla as true ITV royalty and want to reflect that in a huge telly extravaganza”. What a great send off!

The Soaps

It wouldn’t be a Coronation Street Christmas special without a shock return from at least one of the central characters, and this year it’s the turn of Jenny Bradley, who left the cobbles earlier this year. As for Eastenders, the focus of attention will be on the Carter family, as it seems apparent that Linda will tell the square she was raped by her brother-in-law Dean Wicks. Just the usual cheerful festive time in Albert Square then!

Meanwhile in Emmerdale, viewers will finally get closure as it’s revealed who shot Robert Sugden. But just as that mystery’s solved another one begins, with Chas Dingle terrified after discovering she’s being stalked. Ooh the drama!

Downton Abbey

The much-loved period drama says it’s fond farewell in a feature length episode that is bound to be a tearjerker. You have been warned to have the hankies at the ready for the emotional finish! After her absence in season six, Lady Rose will return to the Crawley manor, but it could be at the worst time possible as Violet Crawley is set to be involved in a shocking final storyline. Could it all end with an unthinkable cliffhanger? We’ll have to wait and see at 9pm on ITV, Christmas Day.

The Jonathan Ross Show

With an unbelievable nine years in the hot seat, Jonathan Ross promises to deliver a superb line up for this year’s round up talk show as guests include David Walliams, Barbara Windsor, Lewis Hamilton, Jimmy Carr, Ed Sheeran and Idina Menzel. With the final transmission date yet to be confirmed on ITV but likely to be close to new year, it’s the perfect way to round off 2015 and is sure to be quite a party!
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