Baseball fans subscribe to MLB.TV to watch out-of-market baseball games live or on-demand. However, some games get blacked out due to broadcasting rights and copyrights. Using a virtual private network (VPN) or GPS spoofing apps can help bypass the geo-restrictions and stream blacked out games.
Table of Contents
- Why MLB TV Blackouts Happen
- Solutions to Bypass MLB TV Blackouts
- Tips for Streaming Blacked Out Games
- Streaming Blacked Out Games on Different Devices
- Got Tricked? How MLB TV Detects VPN and Spoofing
- Alternative Options for Baseball Streaming
- The Future of Sports Streaming
Why MLB TV Blackouts Happen
MLB TV blackouts certain games because:
- Local TV stations or regional sports networks have exclusive rights to broadcast in-market games. MLB doesn’t want to compete with them.
- National broadcasters like ESPN, Fox, and TBS have exclusive rights to some games.
The blackouts apply on both web and mobile apps. Changing device location with VPN or GPS spoofing is the common workaround.
Solutions to Bypass MLB TV Blackouts
There are a few ways to bypass the geo-restrictions and stream blacked out games:
Use a VPN
A VPN masks your IP address and location. Connecting to a server outside the blackout area will allow accessing blocked content.
- Get a premium VPN like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost
- Connect to a server outside blackout region
- Access MLB TV on browser or app
- MLB apps can still detect location via GPS
- Detects if Android GPS is spoofed
- Doesn’t work on iPhone without jailbreak
Use GPS Spoofing Apps
Apps like Fake GPS Location can spoof device’s coordinates and bypass location checks.
- Android: Enable mock locations and set app as mock provider
- iOS: Needs jailbreak
- Spoof location and access MLB TV
- Tedious setup
- Doesn’t change IP address
Use Browser Extensions
Extensions like GeoGuard Lifetime Subscription or Unlocator can spoof location directly in the browser.
- Install extension on Chrome/Firefox
- Choose location and enable extension on browser
- Works for MLB TV web access only
- Additional subscription fee
- Browser only, doesn’t work on apps
Use Streaming Alternatives
Instead of MLB TV, streaming services like fuboTV, Sling TV, Hulu Live TV also provide access to live baseball without blackout restrictions.
- Check channels covered on streaming site
- Start free trial
- Cancel subscription after event
- Limited channel selection
- Need subscription
- Interface not as good as MLB TV
Tips for Streaming Blacked Out Games
- Use a premium VPN for best performance
- Clear app cache/data before changing locations
- Disable location access instead of allowing and spoofing
- Stream on web browser instead of mobile app
- Have backup options like streaming sites
- Avoid free VPNs as they don’t work reliably
- Don’t violate MLB terms by extreme spoofing
Streaming Blacked Out Games on Different Devices
The process differs across devices. Here are device-specific guides:
A VPN browser extension like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost is the easiest way to change location and avoid blackouts on laptops and desktops.
Since iOS devices use GPS location, disabling location access in settings is the only option. Using a VPN on Safari browser also sometimes work.
Enable mock locations and GPS spoofing in developer options. Set the VPN or spoofing app as mock location provider.
For PlayStation and Xbox, use VPN router setup to change location. Some VPNs also have native apps.
Smart TVs and Media Players
Install VPN app on TV, clear cache and change location to bypass blackouts.
Got Tricked? How MLB TV Detects VPN and Spoofing
MLB TV is actively taking counter measures to detect and block VPN usage and location spoofing.
- Analyze patterns of access location changes
- Fingerprint device signatures
- Detect mock location access in Android
- Match IP location history
- Identify VPN IP ranges
The streaming service likely utilizes advanced machine learning models to analyze usage data combined with location history to identify suspicious patterns. Devices signatures like OS version, browser user agent, device IDs can also fingerprint VPN usage.
So while it’s possible to bypass blackouts, streaming services are making it very difficult. Any extreme spoofing or policy violation can get your account banned.
Alternative Options for Baseball Streaming
If you face too many difficulties with MLB TV, some alternatives provide legal ways to stream baseball:
- MLB Audio Pass: Listen to live radio broadcasts
- TuneIn Radio: Stream radio commentary
- ESPN+: Included with some live games and highlights
- YouTube TV: Has many sports channels
- Cord cutting services: Hulu, Sling TV, fuboTV
While these don’t have the same experience as watching video, audio streams are still a great way to follow games.
The Future of Sports Streaming
Regional blackout restrictions feel outdated in the internet era. The streaming policy needs to evolve to provide fans open and equal access to sports content.
- National packages without local blackouts
- Flexible channel-based subscriptions
- Single sign-on across streaming sites
- Options to purchase individual games or radio access
- Account sharing within household
The sports streaming market has huge potential for growth. Once the policy catches up to consumer needs, streaming may finally disrupt the cable TV industry for good.