How to get around ESPN blackouts

How to get around ESPN blackouts
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ESPN is a sports broadcaster that is only available to watch in the USA. If you live outside the US and want to watch games like NBA, NFL, or MLB, then we recommend using a VPN. It can help with bypassing geo-restrictions and give you access to ESPN’s content by changing your IP address.

A good VPN service will also provide online security and keep you anonymous while you browse the Internet.

So, you can say goodbye to endless frustration and embrace uninterrupted sports streaming thanks to a VPN. We’ve done extensive research on the best VPNs for the purpose of getting around ESPN and ESPN+ blackouts. Here’s how you can get access to ESPN with a VPN.

How to achieveBypass ESPN provider blackouts with a VPN

  1. Choose a VPN with plenty USA servers. We recommend NordVPN now 67% off.
  2. Download and install VPN on your device.
  3. Connect to a server in the US and log into ESPN.
  4. Start watching your favorite sports!

Why is ESPN blacked out in my area?

ESPN might be blacked out in your area due to regional licensing restrictions. In the sports broadcasting industry, the rights to air certain sports games are sold to different networks or streaming platforms. In many cases, local broadcasters own exclusive rights to stream certain games.

If ESPN doesn’t have the right to air the game you want to watch in your area, then it’ll just show you a blacked out screen and sometimes an error that says, “This content is not available in your region.”

ESPN+ often doesn’t give you access to games that are only available to you if you log in through a participating TV provider.

To get full access, simply log into the ESPN app through your TV provider and you should be able to see the game you want to watch. If it’s still blacked out, then it’s because ESPN doesn’t have broadcasting rights to it in your region.

You can bypass these restrictions by connecting to a server in the area where the game is available. Use a premium VPN like NordVPN, connect to the server, and then log back into the ESPN app. The game should now be available to watch.

Best VPNs to bypass ESPN blackouts

There are various VPNs that can help bypass geo-restrictions, but not all of them work with ESPN. Here are our top 3 recommendations:

  1. NordVPN – Best VPN for bypassing ESPN blackouts anywhere
  2. ExpressVPN – Fast and secure VPN for ESPN streaming
  3. Private Internet Access – Cheapest VPN for unblocking ESPN

Here’s a more detailed review of each VPN:

1. NordVPN – Feature-rich VPN you can use to watch ESPN




Pros & cons
  • SmartPlay lets you watch ESPN on streaming devices
  • Has over 5000 servers from all around the world
  • Includes several powerful security features
  • Trial version is only available for Android devices

NordVPN is best choice for bypassing ESPN blackouts. It’s equipped with several security features and has a great protocol that allows for HD streaming of your favorite sports games.

NordVPN for ESPN

NordVPN has many servers in the US that you can connect to if you want to bypass ESPN blackouts.

NordVPN has a feature that lets you connect any streaming device to a VPN server. This feature is called SmartPlay. We suggest reading our NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN review so you can get an idea of what they’re like.

Some other features that you get with NordVPN include Multi-Hop routing, built-in Onion over VPN connectivity, and dark web monitoring.

NordVPN starts from $3.39/month.

Location Panama
Number of servers 5810+ servers in 60 countries
Price starting from $3.39/month

2. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for getting around ESPN blackouts with




Pros & cons
  • Has thousands of servers for unblocking ESPN
  • Has a native app for routers
  • Lightway protocol lets you watch ESPN in HD at fast speed
  • More expensive than other top ESPN VPNs

ExpressVPN should be good choice when deciding which VPN to use for ESPN. Its 3000 high-quality servers will ensure that you get access to every game you want to watch if it’s blacked out in your region. It’s incredibly secure and its Lightway protocol allows for HD streaming without any stuttering.

ExpressVPN for ESPN

Bypass ESPN blackouts with ExpressVPN.

You can watch ESPN directly on your TV thanks to ExpressVPN’s native app for routers. This app will allow you to connect any streaming device to a VPN server.

It’s also great for security as it comes with various features, including a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and split tunneling.

You can buy an ExpressVPN subscription from $6.67/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Location The British Virgin Islands
Number of servers 3000+ servers in 105 countries
Price starting from $6.67/month

3. Private Internet Access – Most budget-friendly VPN for accessing ESPN from anywhere

Private Internet Access



Private Internet Access
Pros & cons
  • Lets you choose from 35,000+ servers for bypassing ESPN blackouts
  • Comes with an ad-blocker
  • Cheapest VPN for watching ESPN
  • Some users may not find the UI very user-friendly

Private Internet Access (PIA) is the cheapest VPN for watching ESPN. Not just that, it comes with over 35,000 servers, so you can easily find a server in a place where ESPN is available. It uses the same protocol as NordVPN, which means you’ll get similar speeds while streaming your favorite games in HD.

Some of the features that are included in Private Internet Access include military-grade encryption, an advanced kill switch, and an ad-blocker.

PIA is available for just from $2.11 per month, which makes it perfect for people who are on a budget.

Location Panama
Number of servers 35000+ servers in 84 countries
Price starting from $2.11 per month

Why do I need a VPN for ESPN?

One of the main reasons why you need a VPN for ESPN is because it may be blacked out in your region and connecting to a VPN server is the only way to unblock it.

Here are some other reason why you may need a VPN for ESPN:

  • Enhanced security – VPNs provide airtight security, which means you can log into your ESPN+ account without worrying about giving up your personal data to advertisers or marketers.
  • Watch ESPN on streaming devices – Some VPNs give you the option to connect streaming devices to a VPN server even if they don’t allow app downloads. This lets you watch ESPN directly on your TV.
  • Unblocking ESPN outside the US – As mentioned above, ESPN is only available in the US. If you’re traveling or moving abroad, the easiest way to unblock ESPN is to use a premium VPN like NordVPN.
  • Watching ESPN on public Wi-Fi – If you want to watch ESPN while you’re out and about, using a VPN will keep you safe from public Wi-Fi connections.

Can I bypass ESPN blackouts on mobile?

Yes, it is possible to bypass ESPN blackouts on mobile, but it can sometimes be tricky. On smartphones, your location is determined not just with your IP address, but also with your GPS coordinates.

If you change your location with a VPN, it’s still possible for the ESPN app to know your actual location. On other devices, it’s much easier since all you have to change is your IP address and a VPN can easily do that for you.

To bypass ESPN blackouts on mobile, we recommend using a GPS spoofer app, especially on Android. On iOS, make sure you’ve disabled location services.

On Android, you can either use a GPS spoofing app or a VPN that has a built-in GPS override feature. Surfshark is one such VPN that lets you override your phone’s GPS.

Can I watch ESPN for free with a VPN?

Yes, you can watch ESPN with a free VPN, but we don’t recommend it. Most free VPNs aren’t actually free as they sell your data and show you targeted ads. This makes them highly unsafe.

Another problem is that they have a limited number of servers, so you may not always be able to find one in the region where the game you want to watch isn’t blacked out. For example, most free VPNs only have 1-2 servers in the Netherlands. They might not always work since there’s a possibility they’ve already been blocked.

ProtonVPN is an exception because it has unlimited data, doesn’t show any ads, and has a few servers in the USA.

If you want to make sure your data is always protected, we recommend using a premium VPN like NordVPN. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get your money back if you don’t enjoy using it.

Can’t access ESPN with a VPN?

If you can’t access ESPN with a VPN, consider the following tips to troubleshoot the problem:

  • Go incognito – One of the first things you should try is use the incognito mode in your browser. Sometimes your browser can figure out your actual location through cookies and other data. Going incognito will prevent that from happening.
  • Switch servers – Connect to a different server and see if that fixes the problem. Servers often get blacklisted, so we recommend you either contact your VPN’s support team or keep connecting to different servers until you find one that works.
  • Keep your VPN updated – It’s important to always keep your VPN updated because not only is it a security risk, but it also means that most of the servers won’t be able to bypass ESPN blackouts since they haven’t been updated.
  • Purchase a dedicated IP address – A dedicated IP is an IP that is owned by a single person, unlike a shared IP which is used by multiple users. Dedicated IPs don’t get caught as easily, which means they’re less likely to get blacklisted from streaming sites like ESPN.

Frequently asked questions

You can’t watch games on ESPN+ because they’re blacklisted in your regions. They’re either being broadcasted by a local network that has exclusive rights to air them or they’re only available with a participating TV provider.