The days of only having a handful of English TV channels are long over. And with an ever-expanding satellite TV selection and new streaming services popping up by the month, you might not realise quite how much global entertainment you can access with a click of your remote control (and maybe a quick sign up too).
Whether you’re itching to catch up on some of your own favourites or just love to watch entertainment from all cultural corners of the world, you can get shows, movies and content from Asia, Europe and Africa onto your TV screen with no fuss.
To watch all the best international TV shows, check out our latest TV deals.
Let’s take a look at some of the best international TV, and how you can watch it.
The best Asian TV content
Asian TV is really well represented on UK shores, if you’re looking for Indian and Asian channels, you’re in luck as you have plenty of options on Sky and Virgin Media.
Sky TV has been broadcasting Asian programming for decades. You can find 19 channels to watch on your Sky programming guide including big name faves like Zee TV and Star TV. Sky even offers all of these channels as part of its basic pack - Sky Signature. If you’re on Virgin Media you can watch 15 big Asian TV channels including Zee TV and Star TV too, but you’ll have to add the Asian Mela bolt on to your existing TV plan for £12 a month.
Here’s some of the entertainment you can look forward to:
Zee TV is India’s first ever Hindi cable TV channel. From reality talent shows and soaps like India’s Best Cinestars and Kundali Bhagya, to flagship crime drama Detective Didi, Zee has something for everyone.
When you want to catch a movie, flick over to Zee Cinema, to find a host of Hindi films.
The Zee TV network also includes &TV, which is more focussed on soaps and dramas.
Sony Entertainment Television
Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is the home of reality shows like Indian Idol and Super Dancer, documentaries like Crime Patrol Satark and serialised dramas including Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi.
Romance and comedy are covered too with shows like Ahaan and The Kapil Sharma Show.
Star TV is 21st Century Fox’s offering in India with a range of different channels including Star Plus, Star Sports and Star Gold. Across the selection you get everything from primetime soaps, like Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai (India’s longest running soap), classic reruns and the latest cricket and football games.
Colors Rishtey TV
Colors Rishtey specialises in beloved older shows that are no longer being made - it’s the channel to switch to for some nostalgia.
B4U Movies is all about Bollywood! From the latest hits to classic favourites, get your Bollywood fix on this channel.
The MTV of India, B4U Music has all sorts of entertainment - reality TV, celeb interviews, gossip shows and of course music. From Bhangra to Indipop, hear all the latest hits and see who’s top of the charts.
Korean entertainment is taking over the world. From the all-conquering global boyband phenomena that is BTS to Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (the first foreign language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars), K-Entertainment covers all tastes.
K-Dramas are picking up a lot of popularity too, these serialised shows span genres such as romantic comedy, drama, fantasy and more.
Netflix is a haven for K-Drama - there is a huge selection so if you want to watch some of Korea’s most binge-worthy shows, it’s certainly a platform to consider.
Here are some K-Drama shows you can find on Netflix:
The Good Detective
You’ll binge through this gripping crime drama that follows two mis-matched detectives as they investigate the secrets behind a potentially wrongful murder conviction.
One of the latest hit shows, Start-Up features a group of young entrepreneurs as they navigate the Korean tech industry. Expect drama, romance and high-stakes brainstorming.
This high-concept show was rated as one of Netflix’s best shows in 2019. It’s set in a world where everyone’s carrying tech that sends you an alert if there’s a potential love interest within 10 metres.
It's Okay Not To Be Okay
This tear-jerker follows an orphaned carer who has dedicated her life to looking after others. When she meets a kind author who’s never been in love, the two sensitive souls embark on an emotional journey that will have you gripped.
Private Lives is an exciting drama about a gang of con artists who might just have come across a corporate conspiracy that poses a huge threat to the nation. Can they use their trickster skills to stop the scheme before it's too late?
Netflix requires a subscription fee, but if you’d like to watch K-Dramas for free you have an option. Rakuten Viki is a streaming site that offers a huge range of K-Dramas, as well as programming from Taiwan, Japan, China and more Asian countries. All you need to do is create a free account and you’ll get access to a huge range of shows - new and old.
The best African TV content
Sky offers a great selection of African content in the shape of a handful of Nigerian channels that supply news, sports, soaps and movies from the Nigerian film industry, AKA Nollywood.
In fact, the following channels are all available on Sky’s basic TV package, so you won’t even have to pay extra.
Africa Independent Television
Africa Independent Television’s slogan is that it makes TV for Africans, from Africans. It’s the place to go for cultures, news, current affairs and arts with a focus on providing television for African expatriates.
Bright Entertainment Network (BEN) is a family-friendly channel that mixes Nollywood hits with talk shows, lifestyle documentaries, sports and religious programming. Like Africa Independent Television, its programming is geared towards providing expatriates a channel where they can catch up with what’s going on back in Africa.
The Nigerian news channel, Channels 24, covers current affairs, politics, sports and entertainment news as well as programming on health, lifestyle and more.
Nollywood Movies plays Nigerian movies around the clock - 24/7. With 30 new movies added every month including a brand new premiere every day, you’ll never run out of films to watch. You can also enjoy celebrity interviews, entertainment shows and more.
Rok is a Nollywood movie studio so naturally its TV channel is the palace to find films like Desperate Housegirls, Losing Control and Husbands of Lagos. Broadcasting 24/7, there’s always something to watch on Rok.
A single mother betrayed by love has to deal with her son's father's return, years later.— Rok on Sky (@ROK_SKY) January 19, 2020
"HEART OF GOLD" premieres TONIGHT on ROKSKY 329 BY 8pm.
The best European TV content
You can look to the streaming sites for a fix of Euro TV too. The success of crime shows like The Killing, Wallander and The Bridge has led to a huge amount of Scandi-noir shows finding their way over to UK screens. But it’s not all wool sweaters and grisly murders, there’s plenty more to enjoy from all parts of the continent on Netflix, Prime Video, and specialised channels and services.
This German Netflix Original, has been a big hit in many countries, and it’s a must-watch for fans of complex sci-fi thrillers. It’s an engrossing time travel story that spans different decades and explores the secrets that lie in a small German town. Intriguing, suspenseful and binge-worthy - Dark is a show that everyone should be watching
How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast)
Another hit from Germany is this lighthearted show about a nerdy teen who sets up an international drug trafficking business from his bedroom, while navigating all the usual teen stresses - friends, dating, and parents. Loosely based on a real criminal case, it’s neither too serious for teenagers or too teeny for adults - it’s a gem.
Hit Spanish show Money Heist is Netflix’s most popular original foreign language show. It’s about a gang of criminals who attempt an audacious robbery - breaking into the Royal Mint of Spain. Twists, turns, cliffhangers and colourful characters abound in this addictive show.
This French show has also proved to be a huge hit on Netflix. Omar Sy stars as a loveable rogue who avenges his late father by committing daring crimes. It’s a thrilling show that you won’t be able to stop watching.
If you’re interested in watching Polish TV, then the PolTV online streaming service could be right up your street. It offers a huge range of Polish channels covering sports, entertainment, movies, news and more. It comes in three different packages - Basic, Family, and Premium which each offer 50, 80 or 120 channels respectively.
To watch all the best international TV shows, check out our latest TV deals.