If you are a fan of hockey like we are, you can’t get enough. There is nothing like watching your favorite team smack the puck down the ice at a blistering 105 mph, or a good fight now and then. Though that has lessened a great deal in the last 25 years, fisticuffs still breaks out from time to time. For those unaware, the NHL offers a way to watch your favorite team play, providing you live outside of the market. In fact ESPN+ will be broadcasting over 1,000 NHL games. However, the games will come with blackout restrictions for local teams. If you are not out-of-market, you can still watch, as long as you use a VPN.
How to Watch NHL Games on ESPN+ with a VPN
Follow our guide to bypass NHL blackout restrictions to watch your local team:
- Sign up for ExpressVPN (includes a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee)
- You can download the ExpressVPN app on as many devices as you want and connect on up to five at once. This is especially helpful when traveling.
- Connect to an ExpressVPN server in the United States.
- If you haven’t already, sign up for ESPN+ streaming service
- This will give you access to stream over 1,000 NHL games throughout the season. Just make sure you connect to a VPN server outside of the local market for the team you want to watch.
- The ExpressVPN support team is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions.
As cord cutting becomes more and more prevalent, many of the sports have started to follow a model referred to as OTT. That means you can stream live content wherever and whenever you wish, without having to rely on a cable or satellite provider. This gives you the ability to watch live games, as well as games you may have missed because your in-laws came in and wanted you to help unpack their SUV. It will also allow you to watch on your favorite mobile device for the times when your spouse insists you go shopping, instead of watching the game.
The problem with this scenario is, it applies for only out-of-market games. So what the NHL is telling you is, though you are paying for their service, if you are in the market of the team you want to watch, your games may be blacked out. As an example, let’s say you are a Blackhawks fan. If you are in the Chicago area, your friend in Texas can watch all the games, but you get to miss quite a few of the games because of market restrictions. Just as an example, those in New York City zip code 10001 would be impacted by blackout restrictions for the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils.
In the past, the NHL had several NHL.tv packages in regards to watching games like this. You can choose to follow a single team, or you can choose to watch all the games. Starting in 2021 over 1,000 NHL match ups will be available to watch live on ESPN+. Of course, you could watch all the games if you lived in the middle of nowhere but not in a teams local market. To us, you should not be penalized for being a hockey fan in a major area. If it is going to be blacked out anyway, why wouldn’t you just go to a bar? Luckily, you do not have to choose that route.
So, we will discuss how to get around these unfortunate blackouts. As we mentioned, you could do this with a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN is software that sets up a secure connection to a different location. In other words, you can ESPN+ to believe you are somewhere other than where you actually are.