How to Get Around ESPN’s Blackouts for Sports Events Using a VPN

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If you’re an ESPN+ subscriber in the US, but want to watch the College Football National Championship game live without having to cough up extra money for a cable subscription, there’s an easy way to do it. Just use VPN or a proxy service!

The “how to bypass ESPN blackout on Roku” is a tutorial that will show you how to watch live ESPN games without having to subscribe to the service.

Sports streaming services with content restrictions include, ESPN+, and others. Sports streaming services are even more restricted than movie and TV streaming services, allowing only viewers in certain states or locations to access the material.

How Does a VPN Work to Get Around ESPN+ Restrictions?

Fortunately, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) may give your device a temporary new IP address, giving the impression that your connection is coming from somewhere other than the blackout zone. NordVPN is the finest VPN in my opinion for unblocking regionally restricted sports events online.

This post will explain how to get around the ESPN+ live blackout limitations and highlight some of NordVPN’s standout features.

Examples of blackouts

There are several prominent sports leagues that restrict access to their material, including professional leagues like the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or MLS as well as collegiate ones like the NCAA, SEC, and AAC. They do this by placing blackout limitations on nearby viewers.

This means that if you’re a soccer fan who lives in Los Angeles, it’s possible that you won’t be able to watch LA Galaxy games on ESPN+’s website or app and will instead need to watch the game on a local television network. The Rams and Dodgers in football and baseball, respectively, are comparable.

You can unlock a region-locked game by connecting to a server outside the blackout zone. Simply connect to a VPN connection in Chicago (or any other server outside the Los Angeles viewing region) to restore access to the Dodgers game on the ESPN+ app or website if you’re in Los Angeles and unable to watch it.

This is also a terrific option if you want to see your home team play while visiting another country.

ESPN+’s Blackout Rule

ESPN+’s Blackout Rule is as follows:

“Blackouts may occur for certain live sports events and other material accessible via the ESPN+ service subscription. For instance, if you are in a team’s home television market, the game may not be available for live or on-demand streaming as part of your ESPN+ service membership (or other applicable third-party services). Blackouts will be applied based on where you are accessing the ESPN+ service or the relevant third-party services, and we may use a variety of technologies and procedures to confirm your precise location. You won’t be able to use the ESPN+ service if you don’t allow location access on your device.

How to Get Around ESPN’s Blackouts for Sports Events Using a VPN

You’ll most likely receive a notification explaining that you’re blacked out owing to the league’s regional limitations if a game is canceled in your area.

National sports stations like ESPN sometimes may only announce that the requested item is not available without providing any more details.

Remember that every league has its own blackout regulations. The policies of each league are often available on the websites of those organizations.

Here’s how to get around regional ESPN and other service blackouts:

  1. Join a trustworthy VPN service that provides a large number of servers, quick connection times, and dependable access to games that are blocked. (In my research, I’ve discovered that NordVPN is the best dependable VPN for this use.)
  2. On the device of your choosing, install the VPN app. (Note: While these procedures will work on desktops and the majority of tablets, you can have some difficulties on cellphones since ESPN and other services can use the device’s built-in GPS to determine your actual position. Later, we’ll talk more about how to handle this.)
  3. Connect to a VPN server in the same nation as the game you want to watch, but in a region where it is not blocked. For instance, you’ll probably have success connecting to a server in Los Angeles to view a Chicago Cubs game.
  4. Open the ESPN app or the ESPN website. Enter your account information and choose the game that was previously blocked. You will now have access to both the current game and its typically blacked-out replays.

Live Blackout Resolution: Mobile vs. Desktop

Your location is probably used by a streaming sports service like ESPN+ to determine whether it should deny you access to a certain sporting event. On desktop and laptop computers, the service determines your location using your IP address.

However, a video streaming service may locate you using the GPS radio included in many mobile devices, including smartphones and many tablets.

That’s right, even if your VPN software is giving the streaming provider a different location, the same handy tiny GPS radio that lets you navigate through traffic can also function as a snitch and inform ESPN where you’re actually situated.

On both iOS and Android devices, mobile applications will request your consent before utilizing your location information, but if you decline, some features of the app may not work as intended. Your GPS location cannot be concealed by a VPN, just your genuine IP address.

You may need to activate location services for streaming services like ESPN+ in order for them to locate you (as seen below). GPS location tracking might undermine the VPN’s capacity to conceal your location.

Try the blackout-bypassing strategies for Android and iOS devices that I describe in my article, “How to Bypass MLB Blackouts With a VPN,” if the mobile edition of ESPN+ still prevents you from seeing live action of your favorite local team.

You could have to watch ESPN+ on your desktop or laptop computer, on Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, or other streaming devices without GPS if none of the aforementioned options work for mobile viewing.

Through a browser, avoiding ESPN+ Live Blackouts

You may watch your favorite team play without worrying that the action will be blocked in your region if you use a VPN and your preferred browser.

It’s easy to get around local bans using a browser and a VPN. Open the VPN software from your preferred provider, choose a VPN server outside the blocked region, open your preferred browser, and go to the ESPN website. Embrace the show. (I warned you it was easy!)

If the game is still unavailable to you, try deleting the tracking cookies and cache from your browser. It’s possible that ESPN will use this data to pinpoint your location.

Techniques for Evaluating VPNs for Avoiding ESPN+ Blackouts

When you Google “VPN,” you shouldn’t always choose the first VPN service provider that pops up. It may not provide the option to avoid ESPN+ bans, and it might not provide accurate statistics in other ways.

The following factors were taken into account while determining which VPN to suggest for getting around ESPN+ blackouts:

  • Speed: You’ll need a VPN that can watch ESPN+ material at the highest quality without buffering while the game is still being played without you. For this reason, I decided to suggest NordVPN, which provides very fast connection speeds.
  • Server Network: It’s crucial for a VPN to have servers in as many places as possible since athletic events are geo-restricted dependent on where you are. Numerous servers are available from NordVPN in 59 countries, including 15 U.S. locations.
  • Value: Choosing a VPN that asks a high fee but offers little in return is not a good idea. Considering its low cost and plenty of features and functionality, NordVPN provides outstanding value.
  • Ease of Use: Before choosing a VPN, be sure that it is simple to use. You don’t want to be forced to use a VPN that you are unable to use. For a variety of platforms, NordVPN provides user-friendly applications.
  • Security and Privacy: To safeguard your privacy and security, make sure the VPN you use has security features like automatic kill switches, government-grade encryption, and DNS/IP leak prevention. Additionally, check to see whether it tracks any of your internet activity. All of this is provided by my top selection, NordVPN.
  • Streaming: It goes without saying that you need a VPN that can watch ESPN+. However, I ensured that the VPN I suggested also provides access to other sports-focused video streaming sites, such as BeIN Sports, as well as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.

Do not assume that my study is over. Only a tiny piece of my thorough VPN testing technique, including the following characteristics, is evaluated. My data-driven methodology aids in my comprehension of VPN providers and the services they provide. This enables me to only endorse products that are a suitable match for the requirements of my audience.

What VPN Provider Is the Best to Avoid ESPN+ Blackouts?

While several VPN service providers could be able to unblock regional sports on ESPN+, only one VPN has established itself as the most dependable unblocking option, as well as the best security and safety for all of your online activities.


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You may read my brief NordVPN review down below.

For games that have been blocked in your location, NordVPN offers the best unblocking.

The provider’s wide global server network offers the best access to geographically restricted material, and its quick connection speeds ensure that you never have to wait for the action to start.

1. Speed of Connection

In my most recent speed testing, NordVPN’s connection speeds were among the highest, offering sufficient speed for both HD and 4K video streaming. Sports networks like ESPN are experimenting with 4K streaming.

The company never places data constraints or bandwidth restrictions on your use to limit how much you may watch.

With banking-grade encryption, kill switches, IPv6, and DNS leak prevention, the provider’s connections are well-protected.

Support for Multiple Platforms

Given that ESPN+ is accessible on the majority of popular device platforms, full cross-platform app compatibility is a crucial factor. Most platforms for connected devices are supported by NordVPN.

The company provides native applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Linux, and Android TV device platforms. It also provides native support for Apple Silicon on Windows, macOS, and iOS. There are also browser extensions for the Firefox, Edge, and Chrome browsers.

You may use the provider’s SmartDNS service to access your local games if you’d rather watch the action on an Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, or another streaming or gaming device, or you can share your Windows PC or Mac’s VPN-protected connection.

However, keep in mind that, unlike the provider’s VPN service, the SmartDNS service does not secure your connection.

On a single set of login credentials, users may connect up to six devices to the service at once. The supplier provides compatibility with many makes and models of routers if you need to secure more than six devices or if you require VPN security for gadgets, not on the aforementioned list.

3. Support for clients

Even though NordVPN is among the most dependable service providers I’ve had the pleasure of using, it makes sense that periodically a problem may happen or you would have a query or two. You’ll value NordVPN’s extensive customer support when that moment arrives.

A 24/7 live support chat feature, a support ticket tracking system, email support, and a searchable support database are all available to you at all times.

4. Worldwide server support

With approximately 5,200 servers located in nearly 60 countries, NordVPN’s server network spans most of the planet. These servers are dispersed throughout 15 different American cities.

With that kind of coverage, you may watch the games of your preferred team wherever they are.

5. Privacy and security

Your privacy and security online are very well protected by NordVPN.

Using military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection, the provider’s connections are secured. It takes cryptocurrencies as payment for subscriptions, and its servers never save any records of the user’s trips.

The server network is owned and managed by the provider, protecting the privacy of NordVPN users from third parties. Additionally, no data is stored on a conventional hard drive and all NordVPN servers function entirely from volatile RAM. This implies that once a server is restarted or shut down, all of the data on it is completely erased.

Pricing 6.

You’ll discover that NordVPN is competitively priced and that the service offers a superior return on investment. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee offered.

Read my in-depth NordVPN review.


The most dependable method to unblock locally blacked-out athletic events is through a virtual private network.

You may unblock any kind of online material, such as sports events, movies, TV series, and other services and websites, by using a VPN, such as my top recommendation, NordVPN. A VPN also stops other parties from seeing and tracking your online actions, as well as your ISP from slowing down your connection.

Visit the NordVPN website to learn more or to subscribe.

FAQs with ESPN+ Live Blackout

Which Free VPN Service Provider Is the Best for Avoiding the ESPN Blackout?

There is no “best” free VPN, I know I sound like a cracked MP3.

Free VPNs throttle your bandwidth and impose daily or monthly data restrictions on how much data you may use. You shouldn’t use a free VPN for any online activity, especially while streaming videos like those from ESPN+, for the several reasons listed above, which are just two. Spend a few dollars on a trustworthy VPN service like NordVPN.

Why Is ESPN Offline in My Region?

Events that occur outside of a team’s native region are often televised nationally on platforms like ESPN and ESPN+. When a team plays at home, the match is often shown on a broadcast network like FOX or a regional sports network.

The provider blacks out the game there in an effort to get you to watch on the broadcast network rather than online.

Is Using a VPN to Access ESPN Legal?

Yes, using a VPN to access ESPN+ is legal as long as it’s permitted in your country and you’re not using it to do crimes.

Why does DirecTV’s ESPN+ blackout?

In the past, DirecTV has blacked out the whole ESPN package, generally as a result of unresolved contract disputes. Individual games, on the other hand, are often blacked out because they are aired on a separate channel in your area—either a local broadcast station or a regional sports network.

Where can I obtain the list of ESPN+ blackouts?

Visit the web page. In the section for each sport, blackout schedules are presented for various leagues and sports. The NCAA College Extra blackout schedule, for instance, may be seen here.

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