The 2017 MLB season started a couple of months ago and games are in full swing (no pun intended) but you may have found that you can’t watch your favorite team based on where you live.
In the US and Canada, the MLB has a “blackout” system that stops teams being broadcast in an area where another has broadcast exclusivity rights. Thankfully, there is a MLB TV blackout workaround that is not all that difficult to pull off.
If you are trying to watch MLB from outside of the United States or Canada this blackout system does not apply.
This blackout system is a bit draconian but sports broadcasting rights are nothing to be scoffed at, as a lot of teams make a fair chunk of their money through broadcasting rights.
What you will need
There are two different MLB tv blackout workarounds, I will list out some of the positives and negatives of the methods so you can decide which is best for you.
- VPN provider (with access to servers outside of the US and Canada)
- MLB.tv subscription
- MLB at Bat app (for mobile users)
Smart DNS method
- Smart DNS provider (that explicitly state you can use their service for MLB blackouts)
- MLB.tv subscription
- MLB at bat app (for mobile users)
The advantage to using the VPN method as your MLB tv blackout workaround is that all your data is secured. If privacy is important to you then using a VPN is the best choice.
The disadvantages of using a VPN is that your speed may be affected, making live streaming of games somewhat choppy, though this depends on server speed and distance from your location.
Setting up a VPN is not possible on all devices either, so if you are using a Smart TV for instance, VPN may not work. This can be bypassed if you have a VPN enabled router and you set it up as a client.
The advantage of using Smart DNS for MLB tv blackout workaround is that your internet speed is not affected in anyway, meaning streaming will just come down to your own bandwidth. Another advantage is that Smart DNS works on essentially any device that allows you to enter your own DNS values for your internet connection.
The disadvantage of using Smart DNS is that your data is not encrypted so you don’t get the security that VPN guarantees. If you aren’t bothered about encrypting your data then Smart DNS is certainly the way to go.
VPN Method How-To
Step one – Finding a VPN provider
First you have to find a VPN provider that offers servers outside of the US and Canada. This tends to be the majority of VPN providers (at least ones that are established) so you have a wide range of choice.
Here are our top three pics:
For the best speeds, you are going to want servers that are the closest to where you live. Obviously, America and Canada are big countries, so you’ll have to look at what is closest to where you reside.
In terms of sheer choice in regards to locations, ExpressVPN is a good choice with servers in 154 countries, you are sure to find a server that works best for you.
Similarly, VyperVPN has locations all over the world along with some of the most comprehensive security options available from any VPN provider. Definitely the choice to go for if you want be secure.
If you are on mobile, to make your life easier, you should look for a VPN provider that offers their own mobile app. The two mentioned above have their own apps for the big mobile platforms so either is a good choice.
Step two – Connect to your VPN server
Depending on your choice of VPN provider, there are a couple of different ways of connecting to your VPN server.
Many VPN providers offer their own software that allows you to easily connect to their VPN servers, now this software usually has some interesting features, things like a kill switch and automatic connection on start of a particular program. This is usually the easiest way to connect to your VPN.
You can also set up the VPN connection yourself, Windows natively supports PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP, so there is no extra software using up valuable system resources. OpenVPN requires its own software to run and is probably one for the more experienced among us, it is a great protocol though.
Step three – Watch any MLB games of your choosing!
All that is left to do is to sign into your MLB.tv account and start watching any game you wish.
It may be the case you are still getting error messages saying it has been blacked out, if this is the case, all you have to do is to clear the cookies for MLB.tv and refresh the website. This error message should now be gone.
Smart DNS method How-To
Step one – Choosing a Smart DNS service
It is important to choose a Smart DNS provider that explicitly states they unblock MLB.tv.
A good choice is SmartDNSProxy, they are one of the biggest providers out there and offer MLB.tv (amongst others) as a service they unblock.
Unlocater is another good choice, especially for sports in general.
As long as your Smart DNS service offers to unlock MLB.tv, you can’t go wrong really.
Step two – Setting up Smart DNS
If your Smart DNS provider offers a PC program, feel free to use it. You can also just exchange the DNS values for the Smart DNS ones within your network settings, though that is more for the advanced users.
Step three – Watch MLB games!
Now just make your way to your MLB.tv and you will be able to watch any game you wish.
Make sure to clear your cookies if you are still getting error messages.
That’s all there is to mlb.tv blackout workarounds, if you have a MLB crazy friend that could use this guide, feel free to share it. If you have anything to add, you are welcome to let us know in the comments.