Sports Streaming

The articles below will teach you all about using a virtual private network (VPN) for sports streaming, from picking a service that’s a champion at unblocking sports providers to finding sources for your favorite games from around the world.

How to Access Sports Streaming

When an event like the Olympics or the World Cup brings the whole sports world together, there’s almost always a way for people to stream it from anywhere. But most other sporting events present problems.

Suppose you’re an American traveling abroad in the fall, and you can’t stand to miss the Patriots game — but you don’t expect the hotel in London will have channels for your kind of football. Even worse, because of international copyright issues, you usually can’t access sports streaming websites like ESPN from other countries.

The same situation might arise with any regional sport. If you’re visiting Los Angeles from Mumbai, you’ll have a heck of a time finding a channel to watch cricket. And good luck getting a Yokohama Bay Stars baseball game televised outside of Japan.

The internet makes it easier than it used to be to enjoy your favorite sports from anywhere in the world, but it’s not always enough to know a good website. Every sports fan knows the pain of running into a viewing blackout. Why is it that the companies that run sporting events often make it so difficult to watch them?

Broadcasting Rights

The answer is the one you’d probably expect: money. The franchises and arenas that host games take bids from networks for the broadcast rights, with the winner expecting exclusivity (it’s easier to bring in viewers when you’re the only game in town). To honor the deal, they have to black out the game in other regions or on other channels or websites.

It’s not that different from Netflix having the rights to a certain TV show in Canada, while Hulu owns the rights in the U.S. The one exception is that sports blackouts can be even more stringent, with certain games restricted to states or even particular cities.

How to Get Around Sports Blackouts

Luckily for fans everywhere, there’s a way around blackouts — you can use a VPN. VPNs were originally used to provide closed corporate networks, but people soon realized that these servers had another use: masking internet connections so they appear to be coming from different locations.

If you want to watch a Bulls NBA game from your home in Seattle (RIP Supersonics), you have two choices: pay through the nose to change your entire cable package to one with the rights, or use a good VPN with a server location in Chicago.

We know which one we’d rather do, and we’re betting you’ll become a convert once you’ve tried it. Privacy Journal’s articles make it easy to find the right VPNs and web sources for any event, from the World Fencing Championships in Cairo to World Table Tennis in Chengdu. Stop worrying about channels and markets, and get back to enjoying the game.