Sports fans from countries such as the USA, Canada, and the UK are no strangers to blackout policies. This measure was put in place mainly to force people from specific regions to buy tickets for specific sports events or watch them via cable TV channels (with sponsorships and exclusive rights being in this system’s background). Even today, as we live in the age of media streaming services, the question of how to bypass blackout restrictions still exists.
These days, you can find ways to watch sports online without cable, and there are even free sports streaming sites. And if you decide to pay for a subscription, you’ll find numerous live TV streaming services. However, bypassing sports blackout restrictions is still one of the biggest problems that cord-cutters face in 2021.
The good news is that there’s no need to worry, as there’s a solution to this problem. So, let’s waste no more time – here’s all you need to know!
Here’s How to Get Around Sports Blackout Restrictions – Using a VPN Service!
At the moment, the best solution to this problem is to use a VPN service. With the said, the process of bypassing blackouts is quite easy, and here’s how it’s done.
- First, you need to find a reliable and capable VPN service. Based on our extensive hands-on testing of more than sixty VPN services, our recommendation would be ExpressVPN. Click on the provided link and then sign up via ExpressVPN’s website.
- Next, download ExpressVPN by logging into your account on this VPN’s website (done by clicking on ‘My Account’ in the top-right corner). Once it downloads, install the application and log in.
- Now, use ExpressVPN to pick any location outside of the blackout zone. You’ll need to pick a different region in your country, or you’ll need to select a different country. Once you double-click on a server’s name, ExpressVPN will connect you, changing your IP address along the way.
- Once connected to a secure server, launch your favorite sports streaming service (via a Web browser on your computer or via an app on your mobile device), and log in. The website will think you’re outside of the blackout zone, and you will be able to live stream the game.
Are VPNs the Best Solution for Bypassing Blackouts? What Else Can They Do?
Yes, the most effective way to overcome sports blackout restrictions in 2021 is to use a VPN. That’s because VPNs change your IP address and make it look like you’re somewhere else, and this is precisely what you need in this case.
You also need to know that VPNs are incredibly simple to use. That means we’re not talking about a complicated procedure that involves changing any parameters of your Internet connection. You simply open the VPN app, connect to a different server, and that’s about it.
As soon as you connect to any VPN server, you automatically get a new IP address. So, when you open your live TV streaming service, it’ll think that you’re accessing the Web from a different location, unlocking what was previously locked in your region.
Also, keep in mind that VPNs aren’t only made to fight against broadcast blackouts. They keep you safe and protected online, help you un-throttle your Web connection, and they help you unblock new types of websites. So, make sure to learn more about VPNs, and you’ll also want to know how VPNs work.
Can You Use VPNs to Bypass Blackouts on iOS and Android Devices?
Yes, of course! The majority of (reputable) VPN services come with native apps for iOS and Android devices, which you can download via your device’s App Store.
To bypass blackout restrictions, you can use the procedure explained above (at the top of this article). Once you subscribe to ExpressVPN, download its iOS or Android app on your phone, tablet, or media streaming device. Launch ExpressVPN and then log in to your account. Finally, connect to any server, and then launch any media streaming app – and that’s it!
Which VPNs Work Best for Bypassing Sports Blackout Restrictions in 2021?
For this purpose, you need a capable VPN service that can unblock a series of streaming platforms. With this said, we have three recommendations for you.
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN Service Overall
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As you already know, our first recommendation is ExpressVPN, and we don’t have to think twice about recommending this VPN. This is one of the most reputable VPN services around, used by millions around the world.
ExpressVPN can easily unblock a whole slate of media streaming services, which is what you need to bypass blackout restrictions in 2021. This process unfolds effortlessly, as ExpressVPN is one of the most user-friendly VPN services out there (suitable for complete beginners as well).
Among other features, ExpressVPN can take care of your digital privacy in the best way possible. It encrypts your Web data using the latest available VPN protocols, making sure you leave no trace behind. And also, it collects no logs – which means your personal information is 100% safe and protected. To learn more, here’s our full ExpressVPN review.
- Unblocks the Following OTT Services: ESPN, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, DAZN, Sky Go, beIN Sports, and plenty more.
- Use ExpressVPN On These Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android (TV), Web browsers, media streaming devices, routers, and more.
- Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.
2. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Media Streaming
If you need an alternative to ExpressVPN, we recommend checking out CyberGhost VPN. This is a hugely popular VPN brand that comes from Romania. Aside from its capable security-related features, it’s known for its ease of use.
We especially recommend CyberGhost VPN if you’re after media streaming. This VPN comes with an army of specialized servers, unblocking pretty much any media streaming platform out there. It also comes with speedy performance, providing plenty of value for its price.
CyberGhost comes with thousands of servers spread across the entire world. You can use any of these to obtain virtual IP addresses and trick websites into thinking you’re somewhere else. This allows you easily bypass blackout restrictions, whether you need an American IP or not. For additional info, turn to our CyberGhost VPN review.
- Unblocks the Following OTT Services: ESPN, YouTube TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, Eurosport, RMC Sports, and plenty more.
- Use CyberGhost VPN On These Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android (TV), Web browsers, media streaming devices, routers, and more.
- Money-Back Guarantees: 45 days.
Do You Really Need to Spend Money on a VPN? What About Free VPN Services?
We highly recommend you avoid free-of-charge VPNs. That’s because they come with incredibly limited performance, bandwidth, and severe data caps, as they mostly act as demo versions of their paid counterparts.
Most importantly, free VPNs won’t let you bypass broadcast restrictions. They’re notoriously unreliable when it comes to media streaming. Not to mention, free VPNs often leak data, and they aren’t safe to use. In other words, trying out free VPNs is a waste of time.
If you’re concerned about the cost of VPN services, there’s no need to worry – as today’s VPNs are quite affordable, especially if you go for their long-term plans. You’ll want to check our handy overview of the best cheap VPNs, but also make sure to take a quick look at the best VPN deals available right now.
What’s the Point of Sports Blackout Restrictions?
These days, professional sports leagues are connected to many things, including huge financial deals. As you already know, sports venues and teams have an interest in selling tickets, as well as signing deals with certain broadcasters. Therefore, this mechanism aims to steer you towards the channels that have paid for the (exclusive) broadcast rights.
What Does “Subject to Blackout” Mean?
Plenty of individual sports events and entire sports leagues are “subject to blackouts” in the USA and across the world. That’s because individual telecasts can be sold regionally, which means that a single TV station has the exclusive rights to certain games. In other words, other TV channels and live TV streaming services are prohibited from broadcasting those games live.
How Do I Bypass MLB TV Blackout Restrictions?
The most effective method to bypass MLB blackouts is by using a VPN to watch games online. A VPN helps you change your IP, which then enables you to avoid a blackout restriction. For this purpose, our first choice would be ExpressVPN.
Does ESPN Plus Have Blackouts?
To be able to access ESPN Plus, you need to enable location access on your device. That’s because ESPN+ checks your location each time you open its app. And yes, that’s because certain blackout restrictions apply. Once again, a VPN is the best solution to this problem (such as ExpressVPN).
Will Sports Blackouts End at Some Point?
Back in 2015, the FCC (Federal Trade Commission) revoked its sports blackout rule, causing quite a commotion and excitement among sports fans. However, that didn’t really change anything, as sports blackouts are still privately negotiated. Therefore, it looks like broadcast restrictions are going to be here for a while.
We hope that now you know more about broadcast restrictions and how to bypass blackouts. In case you have any questions, know that we’re here to help – so, make sure to post a comment below. And finally – thanks for reading!