How to bypass blackouts imposed on MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, MLS, ESPN, Hulu, Fox Sports, or NBC Sports? For American sports fans considering cutting the cord, blackout restrictions are the only thing holding them back. Due to broadcasting rights, cable providers do not allow streaming channels to show the game you want to watch live online in certain regions. Luckily, there are two workarounds that allow you to bypass blackout restrictions in USA or Canada. In this tutorial, I will show you how to use VPN or Smart DNS proxies to stream any baseball, football, basketball, or soccer game you want blackout-free online.
How to Bypass Blackout Restrictions
Blackout Restrictions – Brief Explanation
Ever since sports streaming channels emerged in the United States, they have been limited by the games they are allowed to broadcast online. You basically subscribe to an online sports channel like MLB.tv or NFL Game Pass but are not allowed to watch the games you want due to the fact they are being shown on cable television as well. This blackout policy mainly aims to protect American cable providers including Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner. Although there have been several plans to scrap blackout policies throughout the years, none of these plans ever came to fruition. It’s not just Americans though. Many games are not available on Internet television in Canada too because major Canadian broadcast networks have secured the rights to them and prevent Internet television aggregators from distributing them. Cord cutters have been left frustrated, looking for alternative ways to watch their favorite games live online. Eventually, they began using virtual private networks (VPN) and Smart DNS proxies as a means to bypass blackouts imposed on in-market games.
How to Avoid Blackout Restrictions using VPN
Whenever you go online, your ISP provides you with an IP address which allows you to interact with online websites and services. This IP address allows these sites to vaguely determine where you currently are. Streaming channels such as MLB.tv and NHL.tv can determine your current location by looking at your IP address as well. As long as the streaming app does not use GPS or other location services, you can manipulate your IP address using VPN and thus bypass blackout restrictions. Follow these instructions.
- First, sign up with a VPN provider. Make sure that that provider actually has several servers in the USA as well as abroad. You can jump over to ExpressVPN, for instance.
- Now that you have created your VPN account, download and install the VPN application. PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices are all supported.
- Launch the app and connect to an American VPN server in a state where the game you want to watch is available. You can also connect to a VPN server outside the USA.
- The last step is to head over to MLB.tv, NFL Game Pass, NHL.tv, or use their native apps.
- Stream any game you want black-out free.
To save you time and effort, we’ve tested some of the biggest VPN providers out there. Here’s our list of the best VPN services you can use to bypass MLB, NBA, MLS, NHL, or NFL blackouts in USA and Canada.
How to Bypass Blackouts using Smart DNS Proxies
You can also use Smart DNS proxy services to avoid getting blacked out. In this case, you do not get a new IP address. Only those URLs which reveal your location to the streaming channel you are watching are re-routed. As is the case with VPN, you cannot bypass blackouts if the streaming app uses GPS or location services. For instance, the MLB.tv app on iOS and Android devices is able to detect your location by using GPS. However, you can still bypass MLB blackouts on PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and even Smart TVs using these instructions.
- First, you have to sign up with a Smart DNS proxy service that supports bypassing blackouts.
- After you have created you Smart DNS account, you have to change your streaming device’s primary and secondary DNS server address. Alternatively, you can set up Smart DNS directly on your router. Follow these videos/tutorials.
- Now jump over to MLB.tv, NFL Game Pass, NHL.tv, or use their native apps.
- Watch any game without blackouts.
Unlocator is a Smart DNS proxy service that supports avoiding NHL, NFL, UFC, NBA, and MLB blackout restrictions. You can try them out for free by signing up for a 7-day trial. You don’t even need to fill in your credit card info to sign up.
Streaming Channels with Blackout Restrictions
- Fox Sports Go
- NBC Sports
- NBA League Pass
- NFL Game Pass
How to Bypass Blackout Restrictions in USA – Final Thoughts
So, if you have been contemplating cutting the cord but are afraid to lose the ability to watch your favorite teams live, services like ExpressVPN or Unlocator will help you out. Although you have to pay for these services in addition to the streaming channel, it’s all still way cheaper than expensive cable packages and their long-term contracts. The best thing about it all is that you are able to cancel these subscriptions during the off-season or at any other time.