Watching sports online is becoming more normalized as broadcasters open up new options for avid fans worldwide. Nearly every country with a major sports scene and an international following have set up some form of streaming option – although they’re not always easy to access. There are also a few other broadcasting complications to be aware of.
On that note, here are 4 mistakes everyone makes when streaming sports matches and some advice on how to get a better streaming experience.
- Falling for Fake Sports Streaming Websites
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers and chance-takers out there. The relative shortage of quality sports streaming options has left a lot of legroom for thieves to flourish. They set up fake sports streaming websites with the promise of high quality and low prices (or even entirely free services).
Anyone who visits one of these sites exposes themselves to malware, spyware, and viruses. They may also get tricked into paying for a service that doesn’t exist – with the added danger of having their credit card details stolen.
Legitimate free sports streaming sites do exist, but they tend to air tiny region-specific games and are often niche-specific as well. Meaning they’ll only broadcast a few types of sports such as volleyball, sumo wrestling, or dirt bike racing, for example. Some do live streams, but others only stream older games and events.
- Thinking They Can Cut The Cord and Get The Same Access
A lot of die-hard sports fans want to get on the cord-cutting bandwagon before doing due diligence. Then they find out that their favorite sports leagues or events aren’t available online like they were through cable and they can’t watch what they want anymore. There’s also a lot more region restrictions and rules in place when it comes to online streaming.
Many streaming broadcasters need to fight for distribution rights and are also subject to the same coverage blackouts that plague cable. Unfortunately, that means some people might be better off just sticking with cable and seeing what’s available to them there. But both the demand and supply of sports streaming services are increasing, creating more options every year. Although the most significant focus is still on national and international games. So don’t give up hope yet.
- Not Using a VPN While Streaming
VPNs are essential to use anyway but can provide even more of a benefit when looking for sports streaming options. That’s because using a VPN can open up a lot more streaming options from countries worldwide. This is true for local sports programs that are region-locked as well.
Sports packages may be confusing, but online sports streaming is almost even more so. It’s therefore worth investing in a VPN to ensure access to everything. This includes things like the MLB, for example, which only offers free streams of baseball games outside the US. Those living in the US can still get access to that by switching to a VPN server in another country.
VPN technology does that by replacing a user’s public IP address with one they can choose themselves. It’s as easy as signing up for a VPN service, installing the app, choosing a server in a preferred country or region, and turning it on. In some instances, they can even help improve connection speed.
Keep in mind that sometimes VPN IPs get blocked by popular streaming services – so it might take some trial and error. Don’t opt for the free ones though as they tend to slow down the connection considerably and some could even be scams.
- Not Considering All the Options
The complexity of sports broadcasting ensures that there’s never a dull moment and things can change quickly. Choosing one streaming option and sticking with it isn’t necessarily the best option.
A platform may not offer all the games or events a user wants to watch, or they may lose broadcasting rights for all or some of it down the line. Do proper research and sign up for two or more streaming services (if it’s sensible budget-wise) to cover everything.
Don’t forget that things can change and stay on top of shifts in programming. For example, about half of the Premier League matches will be aired for free on various cable and streaming options this year.
That’s a Wrap!
Streaming is very likely the future for sports broadcasting, but for now, it’s still a complex maze of rules and regulations that favor some above others. Keep these tips in mind and make sure that next game day goes off without a hitch!