A blackout applies to telecasts that have been sold either locally or regionally to local or regional rights holder holders. These local or regional right holders may be ether a regional sports network or simply a broadcast station. Blackouts are therefore put in place to protect the rights of these holders in college teams, professional teams, or leagues in a specific market.
Therefore, if your ESPN generates a blackout notification when you want to watch a certain event on a television channel, then you’ll know that this event is not available in your current location. The provider uses your IP address to determine your current location and if you’re streaming via your mobile phone and you receive a blackout restriction, then try connecting to ESPN via Wi-Fi. If it fails again and you believe the blackout message is inaccurate, then feel free to reach out to our customer care team.
Bypassing ESPN Live Blackouts using a VPN
Since ESPN always uses your location to identify the content you can access, you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access some programs or live streams that are blacked out in your current location. Since they use your IP address, a VPN will use their servers to change your current IP address to suit the location of your choice.
ESPN is a major broadcaster, and almost all the top league sports in America, such as NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, UFC, and more, are broadcasted with this provider. But most of these programs have blackout restrictions when watching them online, and therefore, you can be restricted from viewing the content online from your device.
And according to ESPN, they do provide blackouts to prevent the infringement of some rights holders. Some local cable providers and TV stations buy rights to broadcast the games in their region, and therefore, ESPN will not stream the games in these regions as it would mean infringing these broadcasting rights. This applies to both home and away games.
VPN enables you to connect to ESPN via a server found in a different region in the world. That way, you can access the content locked in your region or watch ESPN in other countries where it may be prohibited.
But there are many VPN providers in the market, but our top choice is ExpressVPN based on its fast speed, high reliability, and HD video streaming. To bypass your blackouts with this VPN:
Sign up or Log in to a fast and reliable VPN provider
- Install it to your device, but smartphones may not work since ESPN will additionally request its GPS location and the device IP address.
- Connect to your preferred server; ensure it’s in a region where the game is not restricted.
- Finally, enter your credentials to access your ESPN account and enjoy streaming live games as well as replays.
How to Bypass ESPN+ Live Blackouts with your web browser
VPNs are handy when you want to access the content that is blacked out in your region. When you connect to a VPN, you get a different IP address matching that of the area you have chosen. Ensure you select a region where the event you want to watch is not blacked out to get unlimited video streaming and replays.
Besides, it’s easier with a browser since after installing your favorite VPN, you only need to choose a regional server and connect to it. In case, there is still an issue with the video, then clear the browser cookies and cache as ESPN can use these files to determine your current location.
How to resolve a live blackout in Mobile and Desktop?
Live blackouts preventing users in a particular location or region from accessing some content. They identify the users’ location, then block them with most of them using your IP address and GPS location for smartphone users. A VPN can mask your IP address, but it cannot hide your GPS location.
Besides, ESPN may force you to open your GPS location on your phone, and other times you may require to enter your zip code when signing up for their services. Most mobile phones request their users for their location, but you can avoid using your web browser.
ESPN & ESPN+ Blackout FAQ
ESPN comes with a user policy that defines blackouts and where it is applied. Below are frequently asked questions on this policy:
Why is an event restricted in ESPN?
Most of the US top sports leagues give each team their broadcasting rights. And for each team, most have a local and national broadcast tiers. When the event; is not held in the team’s area, the broadcasting is given to ESPN, ESPN+, etc. But if the event is held in the team’s area, its broadcasted by the network that has signed a broadcasting agreement with. So if the event is unavailable in your location. You may find additional information on the team or the league’s website on why it’s happening so.
b. Why is ESPN not available on DirecTV?
Initially, a game or event could be unavailable on this platform due to disagreements in contracts. But nowadays, it’s mainly because a different channel is broadcasting the event in your region.
c. Why is the content unavailable on Hulu?
Hulu provides cable TV services, and therefore, it identifies the location of each user once they sign up. They then use this information to determine the type of games available and blacked out in your current location.
d. Will a VPN provider help me prevent an ESPN blackout?
Most free VPNs come with various limitations which makes it harder to use them in avoiding blackouts. For instance, their limited technology makes it easy for ESPN to monitor and block them, while their low bandwidth makes it hard to stream HD videos. Therefore, it’s best to choose a premium VPN that provides you higher quality videos plus other resources you need.
ESPN Blackout Policy
Some live sports events or other types of content offered by ESPN+ to its subscribers may be blacked out. For instance, when streaming a home team event when it’s competing with another team, then your ESPN+ may restrict your live viewing or view at that time based on your subscription. Blackouts are enforced based on your current location, and we will use different methods to identify your location. Also, you’ll be unable to access our services if you don’t turn location on your device.
ESPN and ESPN+ usually blackouts your account, depending on the event and your current geographical location. But you can learn to bypass their blackouts using a VPN and access any favorite content regardless of where you’re in the world.