There has never been a better time to be a sports fan. With a simple app—a quick press of a button—you can watch any event you want if you wish to rewatch the Euros that just ended a few days ago or prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
However, this convenience and accessibility to sports around the world have come with a few obstacles. Today, let’s go over a couple of these obstacles and how you can get past them and enjoy watching sports online again.
Obstacles Preventing Sports Streaming
The term “geo-blocking” is used by a lot of companies and many governments for multiple purposes. Sometimes, geo-blocking is good; it can be used for online purchases so that proper taxes can be applied at checkout or limit gambling in certain areas due to local laws. But sometimes, geo-blocking gets in the way of entertainment, especially when it comes to sports.
Most major streaming services, including the ones you would use to watch sports on, use geo-blocking to limit available content in certain countries. For example, some sports channels may only be available in the United States.
Geo-blocking can be especially annoying while traveling outside the country. It’s a headache to see that the streaming service you use without issue in your hometown is now non-functional in the country you traveled to.
Confusing Subscriptions and Schedules
Not all issues regarding sports streaming involve geo-blocking, however. Sometimes, the services themselves make watching your favorite events difficult. For example, watching the 2021 Euros required some users to juggle multiple streaming services just to watch the full tournament or subscribe to an on-demand service like Sling TV and use various channels for different games.
Juggling multiple services and channels is common when streaming sports, and it’s an annoyance that has haunted sports fans since online streaming became commonplace. This unnecessary complexity has resulted in many people not bothering streaming events or turning towards illegal streaming sites for a simplified streaming experience. Doing so is not recommended.
How to Get the Best Streaming Experience
It’s clear that the world of sports streaming is too complicated for its own good. But there are a couple of ways to simplify it so that you can watch the sports and events you want without much of a headache.
1. A VPN to Overcome Geo-Blocking
Let’s first turn our focus to geo-blocking and how users can get rid of it. There aren’t many tools designed to bypass geo-blocking, primarily because doing so is a difficult and expensive process. That, plus streaming services are constantly updating their geo-blocking techniques.
However, this doesn’t mean users are out of options. Using a Virtual Private Network—a VPN service—sports fans can bypass geo-blocking by routing their connections to the streaming service through a VPN server located in the country of their choice. This gives them full access to that country’s catalog along with unrestricted access to the channels they need to watch their favorite sports.
2. Research the Channels Needed
Many sporting events require a subscription to an on-demand streaming service like Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and vice versa. These services differ from regular streaming services due to offering a package of channels (a practice similar to cable) that users can tune in to at any time.
This sounds simple enough, but keeping track of all the channels you might need can be exhausting. Before you subscribe to any of these services, make sure that the service has all the channels you need to be included in their packages.
After a year of canceled games and tournaments, 2021 is proving to be a year to remember for sports fans worldwide. However, streaming sports can dampen the fun, but there are a few ways to ease your streaming experience.