Greetings, sports fans. It’s a great thing, being one of us. We get invested in teams hundreds of miles away and we passionately follow their progress. It’s a brilliant way to socialise – or a fun way to relax alone with a beer and the game on.
The NFL and American Football top the charts in the US and is the favorite sport of 37% of the population but internationally, Soccer (or football as non-Americans call it) still rules the roost: 3.5 billion fans worldwide.
For those of us who love the Great American Sports, though, there’s a growing problem. Sadly, more and more companies are aware of our fan base and are using it to milk even more revenue from us.
(Because they’re not making enough, clearly.)
The easiest and most annoying way in which companies do this is called ‘Blackout.’
What is Blackout?
If, like me, you usually watch sports from a streaming device, you’ve probably already experienced it.
You’re hanging out with your buddies, with your computer running to your kick-ass HD projector for a true off-the-wall experience – and suddenly you get a black and grey screen telling you that you’re not allowed to have fun!
Can different packages solve the problem?
Why not sign up to Direct TV? Because I’m not in America, and it won’t give me what I want.
How about NFL Game Pass? Check the terms and conditions on locally televised regular season games. They’re still blacked out.
Even if I did get it, that only solves one of my problems. Mixed martial arts. The NBA. Hockey games. Baseball – specifically the Major Leagues. They’ll blackout on you whenever they want to make an extra buck.
So basically I’m doomed, right?
Unless I want to move to America (and I do) and basically travel round the country so I’m in the right region at the right time for the right game. That’s a hell of a road trip and, hey, it might be fun but in these days of internet access and digital streaming shouldn’t there be an easier way to do it?
See the game easily without paying more
Well, I might not be able to transport myself (yeah, I also like Star Trek, sue me) but there’s no reason I can’t beam my internet connection someplace with better sports TV.
What you need to do that is a VPN. To use a sports metaphor, it’s the forward pass of the internet.
You connect to a service and they connect to whichever website; streaming service or whatever you want to use. So, I connect to one in America, near to where my favourite game is playing and the site thinks I’m actually in America. I can can jump from location to location using the software provided and watch my favourite games from computer,, smartphone, tablet or whatever. Short of actually travelling there, it’s living the dream.
So, next time you’re panicking about missing the Rockies and the Braves; or wondering how the Patriots are holding up, remember 3 little letters. V. P. N. It’s quick. It’s reliable. It’s secure. It’s easy to set up, which is good because Scotty I ain’t (sorry, another Trek reference there). Most importantly, it’ll get you to the game on time. It did for me.