When I first moved to Austria, the only way to get British TV was via Sky. I bought a Sky box in the UK and got it set up at my parents’ address then simply took it with me to Vienna. This is still possible of course, but you can no longer get the BBC in most of Europe as the satellite signal is focused on the UK. However, if you live in northern France, the Netherlands or Belgium, you may still be in luck.
As I was not particularly willing to spend the 40 odd pounds a month on a Sky subscription I gave up for several years. Watching Rugby was only possible at the Irish pub, which, I suppose, is no great hardship, but works out more expensive than the Sky subscription! One cool trick is to point your dish at the 28.2 deg East and do a scan with your normal European receiver. At the end of the list you’ll see Stream 0, Stream 1 etc. to Stream 6. This is the BBC interactive stream, and you can tune in to big events like the rugby 6 nations as if you were watching the BBC in the UK.
Update 6th April 2012 – The BBC have moved this satellite stream. I tried to find it but it really seems to have died so it looks like to only way to watch the BBC iPlayer abroad is now over the internet.