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Living in Panama: TV, Movies, and Entertainment in Panama

Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by Retire in Panama

TV in Panama

If you are moving to Panama, you may wonder what your TV and movie options will be. While Panama is a Spanish-speaking country, there are still plenty of English-language TV and movie options available.

I know you are moving to a county with beaches and mountains to explore, and I am discussing TV. Well, there will be those rainy nights when you just want to curl up in front of the TV with some popcorn and watch a good movie.

First, we will discuss the Cable TV company’s offerings in Panama since you will probably be getting high-speed internet here. They will try to sell you bundles with TV programming.

Two major companies are offering Cable TV and fiber internet in Panama, Tigo and Mas Movil. They offer similar programming and similar Tigo TV Plans in Panama prices.

From Tigo’s website, you see a combo plan, 400 Mbps internet, 222 channels of TV, and a home phone line for $57 a month, plus taxes. As you see, there is some excellent value here compared to North America.

But how many of those TV channels are in English? Great question; when first hooked up by the installer, very few. But, if you ask the installer to change the menu to English and the primary audio to English, over a third of the channels will be in English.

This is because, in all the Americas, there are almost 500,000 Spanish-speaking people, more than English speaking, and the big US networks broadcast in both languages to reach both markets. Your TV box can be set to the language you want as the default. In English, you will get TNT, Space, History, Cinemax, HBO, Star, Syfy, Disney, Discovery, History, CNN, Fox, and many more. You can check out Tigo’s Panama TV Channel list Here.

I don’t have cable, as I am just not a live TV guy much anymore. I am more of a streaming TV guy, watching something I want when I want. For this option, where I can show you 10’s of thousands of TV shows and movies on demand, and many live TV, including local live news, you will need an Amazon Fire Stick and a VPN.


amazon fire stick in panama The Amazon Fire Stick, between $40 and $50, is a small device that you plug into an HDMI port in the back of your computer, that allows you to control it with a remote. Then you install apps of it, like Amazon Prime TV, Netflix, Hulu, and many more, and have many English options for TV in Panama. Most of you are already familiar with Netflix or Amazon Prime, but there are a lot of other great apps you can install on the Firestick to give you more live and streaming options. You can buy direct from Amazon here.

Before we go too far, we need to talk about a VPN. What is a VPN? A VPN (Virtual Private Network) hides your identity and location online and makes it look like you are using a vpn in Panama somewhere else than where you are. Some online entertainment companies geo-restrict their content, and you need to use a VPN to view it.

Amazon prime will not allow most of its Prime content to be viewed outside the US. Netflix has a US catalog that is much larger than its Panama catalog. This is the same for Hulu, ESPN, Disney, and others. A VPN solves that problem.

In my opinion, and I (Rod) am the tech expert of Retire in Panama, the best VPN to use in Panama is Surfhark VPN. And the price is great at $2.50 a month on a 2-year subscription. I have tried over a dozen different top VPN’s and Surfshark VPN outranks the others each time.
Another benefit of using a VPN is privacy, especially over public Wifi. With Surfshark VPN, you can install it on up to 5 devices. So you can use the same subscription on more than one TV and even on your phones to keep you secure.

Now we will look at my channel lineup. I have a Netflix and Hulu subscription and am an Amazon Prime member so that I can access all Prime entertainment. That gives me thousands of movie and TV show options. Netflix is $8.99 (one screen, $12.99 for 2); my Hulu, I have a one-year special of 99 cents a month, but its regular rate is $6.99 a month. Oscar & Megan have an additional package of Disney, ESPN, and Hulu, as Uncle Rod :) got it for Oscar’s boy for Christmas this year.

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In addition to the above, I have installed on my Firestick Pluto TV (free), with almost 200 live channels, mostly the classics, Crackle (also free), Peacock TV, all NBC shows, currently live and past streaming. Also, Paramount Plus is the CBS app. Peacock and Paramount have free and paid ($4/month) options.

They are great if you are looking for local programming and news, and you can set your Surfshark VPN to a City in the US where you came from, and you will see those channels you used to have. They also have an expansive library of streaming all shows that they have ever aired so that you can binge-watch your favorite past series. We watched the Super Bowl this year at my place on Peacock, as NBC broadcasted it.

Why am I not talking about IPTV here? Pretty simple; it’s unreliable and, in most cases, Illegal. IPTV sellers will tell you they can get you 8,000 TV stations for free and never pay anything again. And with IPTV, you will always have buffering problems, as they oversell what their servers can handle. Many IPTV providers have been shut down for copyright infringement.

So now that you know how to get tons of English TV programming in Panama, turn off the TV, go to the beach, take a hike, go for a bike ride and enjoy this great country.


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  1. I don’t see a on the front of the Amazon fire stick in regards to the VPN. What do you mean by it’s ready to be installed and how this is work?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kate. Once you set up the Amazon stick on your TV, you will install some of the apps I have mentioned. Express VPN is an app in the Amazon App store. Thanks.

  2. As an expert on all things Panama I would be very interested to know which part of the country you decided to settle down in and what were your reasons for doing so, Thank you.

    1. Hello Skip, I decided on Boquete, for one reason only. Climate. 65 degrees every night and 75 – 78 during the day, 365 days a year. I personally do not like the heat, but if I want a few days of beach time, then a 1 to 1.5 hour drive to the beach is in order.

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