With any luck, MLB.tv blackouts will be a thing of the past in the years to come. As of 2021, though, the popular network and streaming service offers a “Single Team” add-on to help you watch your favorite team. That said, you will need to authenticate your account through your cable, satellite provider, or online account. Unfortunately, that’s a problem for cord-cutters everywhere. That doesn’t seem fair at all, considering that MLB.tv is a premium streaming service. Those who subscribe should be able to watch every game, no matter where they are. That isn’t the case, though, because viewers in the United States and Canada are impacted by blackout rules. Luckily, we have a workaround for you. You can solve the blackout problem by using a VPN.
Best VPN to Stream MLB.tv Blackout Games
First, you will want to find a fast and reliable VPN service. In this case, you will want one with fast VPN servers in whichever region you plan to watch coverage in. Their network also needs to be reliable so you don’t drop connection or get hit with buffering in the middle of the game. Here are a few of our favorites. We have used ExpressVPN with MLB.tv over the years and have been quite pleased with the quality of the service.
How to Use a VPN to Watch MLB At Bat
I’ll use ExpressVPN for the example of how to use a VPN service to watch your favorite MLB teams.
- Sign up for ExpressVPN (includes a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee)
- First, you’ll want to download the VPN client. ExpressVPN offers free client software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In addition to free apps for iOS, Android, and routers.
- Launch the ExpressVPN app and select a server location. We chose Miami but ExpressVPN has a large network of servers around the world.
- You can let the client select the protocol or do it manually. For streaming live sports we recommend Lightway. It will provide you with the fastest connection. Otherwise, IKEv2 and OpenVPN (UDP) are also good options.
- Connect to a server in the US (outside of any blackout restriction for your favorite team) or another country. London is a good choice in the UK. The app background will turn green to show that the VPN is connected.
- You are now located in Miami as far as anyone can tell online. As such you can reach any site as if sitting in Miami. The same would be true if we connected to a server in the UK or anywhere else in the world.
- Want help getting started? The ExpressVPN support team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.
MLB.TV Blackouts Explained
Baseball fans in the US and Canada are subject to local, regional, and national blackouts. That means you can’t always rely on MLB.com At Bat to watch your favorite team play live. Blackout games are available an hour and a half after the game ends. That’s very anti-climatic. Most Fans want to watch the games live, not on-demand after the fact. By then you’ve likely seen the outcome. The answer to the problem is a VPN. Connecting to a VPN server in another region or outside the US will help you get around the blackout restrictionss. Avoid all the blackouts by using a VPN service.
What are the Major League Baseball blackouts all about? Here’s an explanation from the MLB.com website:
- Regular Season Local Live Blackout in the U.S. and Canada: All live games streamed within any MLB.TV product and available through the MLB App and any other location or device where MLB.TV is sold or available are subject to local and national blackouts. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing through MLB.TV. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber within an area subject to blackout, the applicable game will be available as an archived game approximately 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.
If you are located in the United States, many times you can connect to a VPN server in another region of the US to avoid blackout restrictions. This will also give you the best performance. The map to the right represents the MLB blackout restrictions for team region. As for viewing MLB.tv games with a VPN, we specifically use the ExpressVPN Lightway protocol when viewing on desktop or mobile since its included in the app. For set top boxes like Amazon Firestick, Roku, or Apple TV, you can also use their MediaStreamer feature.
The key to getting around the blackout restrictions is connecting to a VPN server outside the United States and Canada. MLB At Bat and other streaming services use a technology called geo-blocking to determine whether or not you can access their content. In the case of blackouts the app is looking for the location of your IP address. If it falls in the US or Canada the blackout rules will apply. If you connect to a VPN server in another country it will change your IP address location. That will let you watch any MLB game without blackout.