Cyprus has a good choice of TV and Radio stations available 24 hours a day. The Cyprus Radio-Television Authority regulates all TV and radio stations.
As is to be expected, the majority of broadcasts are transmitted in the Greek language. The news is transmitted in the Greek language, except for the state-run public broadcasting service, the CyBC, which broadcasts daily news in English on its second channel.
Advertising and government grants currently fund the CyBC. It is however only a ten-minute slot and usually consists of International news rather than concentrating solely on Cyprus news, which many find disappointing. They also show regular films and programs in the English language, with Greek subtitles.
It has been noted that since the economic crises in Cyprus (2013) the English language films are no longer recent or popular, but on average the films shown are at least ten years old, or even older. It is now almost impossible to view a recently released movie on any of the Greek stations.
The amount of TV station transmissions you will be able to receive varies and will be dependent on where you are located in Cyprus. This is because some stations are broadcast nationally throughout Cyprus, while others will be localized to a particular area. Many of the TV stations are also live-streamed on the Internet.
Following in line with the UK and other EU countries, Cyprus closed down analog terrestrial tv officially in 2011. The Cyprus digital tv switchover took place on 1st July 2011; analog tv owners may need to purchase an MPEG4 set-top box to receive digital transmission. Remember to check if you need the box for the older TVs or the one for HD TVs. There is a document available for free download that may answer your questions about digital tv in Cyprus. You can download the English version here. (in pdf format, may not be compatible with mobile devices)
Due to the lack of English speaking TV stations available in Cyprus, many opt to have satellite TV installed, and it is a fact that for many British ex-pats, this is one of the first things they do when moving to Cyprus. Make sure you buy your TV subscription from a reputable dealer as there have been scams in the past. Also being reported since around 2016 is that most (if not all) UK tv stations cannot be received any longer on satellite TV in Cyprus. Please check thoroughly before purchasing any satellite TV package.
There is no TV license fee in Cyprus. The CyBC used to have an indirect yet obligatory tax which was added to electricity bills, and the amount each had to pay depending on the size of their home. Due to pressure from private radio and TV broadcasters, this tax was abolished. CyBC is currently funded by advertising and government grants.
Many people prefer to opt for the digital tv packages that come as part of an internet package using an ADSL line which does not require any satellite dish and offers many English tv stations. However, in comparison to the packages available in the UK, this works out quite expensive.
There are many options to buy or rent films on BluRay, DVD or video. You will find DVD’s for sale in many shops in the towns and tourist areas, local markets, and even in kiosks, however, many will be copies and not originals. DVD rental shops are numerous and offer a very cheap form of entertainment. Most will require membership either free or at low cost, and many of them allow express return options so that you can return your DVD’s at any time that suits you via secure posting at the shop.
Cyprus radio stations have increased significantly, again with some broadcasting nationally, and some localized. Many of them have regular slots for news in English, with a mixture of Greek and English music, and more recently Russian stations have emerged. There are also several Internet radio stations available in both Greek and English.
The CyBC Radio Channel 2 transmits daily programs in English which mainly focus on entertainment, music, and culture, as well as three daily news bulletins.
There is also a Cyprus Amateur Radio Society. Anyone can become a radio amateur. However, a license must first be obtained from the Ministry of Communications & Works.
Getting News in Cyprus
In times past the most favored, and often most practical way to communicate news and events was for someone to ride around the village shouting and hooting the horn of anything they had, be it a bike, a tractor or a car.
You may have noticed that even though communications have advanced significantly in Cyprus, the Cypriots still love the old tradition of driving through the villages blowing their horns frequently and very loudly! Some old habits die hard.
Nowadays, there is a 24/7 media and news infrastructure in place, which is produced to the public via multiple means, such as newspapers, radio, television, faxing, e-mail, or online Cyprus news websites.
If there is news of something that Cypriots want to let others know about, then usually the mobile phone is the quickest form of communication, which spreads the news like wildfire.
Of course, there is not just news about Cyprus that’s so readily available, but also International news from around the world. Radio and TV always include some international news that is relevant, as do newspapers, and International papers can also be bought daily, though often it will mean a delay of one day for publications due to transportation to the island.
Some of the newspapers offer glossy magazine supplements for free, while magazines offer gifts. There are also leaflets to get your business news out to the public.
However, the use of leaflet delivery has just come under scrutiny by government members, and there may be plans to scrap the practice or monitor it. Leaflets are regularly posted in bundles into mailboxes and often end up strewn onto the floor.
There are also regular leaflet distributors at busy traffic lights handing them into car windows, a practice that has been deemed unsafe on the hectic roads.
Of course, media isn’t limited to just news, but also music, movies, and celebrity gossip as well as many other topics. Whatever media related subject you are interested in you are likely to find it in Cyprus, in both Greek and English.