Radio and Television Stations
Cable TV and Directv (now SKY)
You will not be out of touch with what is happening "back home" after you move to Costa Rica. There are a fairly large number of radio and TV stations as well as cable TV companies. Here is what to expect.
I will break these down into two categories.
1. Radio stations that play a lot, if not all, music from North America (musica americana) but have all commercials, announcements, etc. in Spanish.
There are at least four that are currently on the air. The music played is generally the hits from the 60s, 70's and 80s with little regard to the contemporary music currently playing in the US. Read this as NO RAP.
99.50 RadioDOS (also available online on Internet Radio) If you don't know what Internet Radio is, click here to display in this frame or
to read as a pop-up. To listen LIVE now in a new window, click here. You will need a high speed connection to enjoy this. A direct link using Windows Media Player is here.
102.30 (Soft rock and classics, 60's through the 80's)
102.70 (Soft rock and classics, 60's through the 80's)
103.50 (Soft rock and classics, 60's through the 80's)
2. Radio stations that are almost 100% English speaking and play Gringo music.
This is going to be a short list as there is only one: Radio Rock 107.5. Owned by Canadian Nick Shaw, there are live DJs in the morning, twice daily BBC links, and the music is contemporary rock. In the afternoon, all is pre-recorded music. Almost all commercials are in English and all the DJs use English. Internet Radio is online.
I am not going to cover AM radio. There are a ton of stations, and I have not heard any in English.
A listing of all Costa Rica TV stations can be found here.
Cable TV is available in many places in the Central Valley. It is now also becoming available at some beach locations such as Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. Others may be available also, so check with these providers directly.
There are two main companies here, CableTica and Amnet.
There is some overlap in coverage areas, but often only one or the other is available based on where you live.
CableTica is part of TeleTica, Channel 7 TV here and a couple of other channels as well. They have a fair number of English speaking sales and support personnel. Their offerings include a CBS link plus FOX and CNN plus several other English language channels.
Amnet has far fewer support personnel that speak English and their programming is FAR more geared to the Latin audience.
Both offer cable modem (Internet) services, but CableTica has by far the more knowledgeable, responsive, and proficient support staff. They also have English speaking support personnel.
DirecTV (Direct TV or Directtv) is now SKY
Satellite TV is available in Costa Rica in nearly any location where there is line-of-site access to the satellite. The provider is SKY which used to be DirectTV.
Programming is out of Mexico, but there are English speaking and North American channels plus great music only channels. It is more expensive than cable service, but when it is working (read this as when it is not raining) you get a decent selection of stuff to view. Contracts must be signed and I understand these are now for two years. The feedback I get from users is that programming is weird and often wrong. When it says a show is going to be on, it is not. As they are the only game in town though, you really don't have a plan B. Still, if you are out in the boonies and need your fix of Desperate Housewives or CSI, SKY can help. Customer service had English speakers when I visited them last year.
SKY does NOT offer Internet service.
Newspapers in Costa Rica
For newspaper information, click here.