The 2021 Major League Baseball season is nearly here, with the new campaign starting on April 1, 2021 – and all 30 teams are playing on the opening day. Unfortunately, you may be prevented from watching the games if your team is blacked out. The reason your team may be blacked out, is that every franchise has sold the distribution rights to local television and radio broadcasters.
In the US, the broadcasting rights are held by ESPN, Fox Sports, TBS and the MLB Network. TSN and Sportsnet have the rights in Canada. So, you’ll be out of luck without access to these channels.
However, you can access these broadcasts with a VPN. A VPN will lift any geo-restrictions by shielding your actual location and connecting to a server in the US. This will make it look like you’re physically located in an area that will allow access to the games. You can also connect to the many international broadcasters that will have access to certain fixtures – and of course the MLB TV and Out-Of-Market packages will have unlimited access to the matches.
So sit back and let us take you through the best ways to watch every game and ensure that you won’t miss a single second of the action.
Short VPN guide to watching MLB games online
- Download and install a VPN. We recommend NordVPN as it is fast and has an extensive number of servers to lift any restrictions you face.
- Connect to a server in a country with the MLB broadcasting options you need.
- Grab a hotdog and enjoy the ballgame!
Why do you need a VPN to stream MLB?
MLB imposes a blackout policy on certain games. A blackout policy means that the broadcast is blacked out in both the home and away teams’ regions. This is because the local cable networks have the exclusive broadcasting rights of these fixtures. It is also in place to encourage the fans to attend games. If they can’t access it on TV, the only way to watch the match would be to buy a ticket.
It had been hoped that the blackout policy would be paused during the Covid-19 pandemic as fans have limited or no access to the stadia. However, the policy will remain in place for the 2021 season. This is a map of the MLB blackout areas:
The map shows the area in the US where that team is unavailable due to the blackout. For instance, if you live anywhere in the map that is colored in dark purple, you won’t be able to watch the Seattle Mariners.
So you will need a VPN to watch these fixtures. This will make it appear as though you are from a location where the blackout doesn’t apply. If you’re traveling, you reside outside the US or if you just encounter a problem out of left field, a VPN will ensure you’ve got your bases covered.
Guide on how to watch MLB online with a VPN
Imagine sitting down to watch the game, and you’ve struck out trying to get it on TV and the MLB app isn’t playing ball due to the blackout. What do you do? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tackle these local restrictions by setting up a VPN:
- First, you need to download and install a VPN right off the bat. You need one that is fast, secure and, most importantly for MLB fans, has numerous servers with minimal lag time. For these reasons, CyberNews would suggest choosing NordVPN.
- Next, you need to download your chosen VPN and follow the installation instructions.
- Once it is installed, open the app and either log in or set up a new account.
- Find a server in a location that is showing the game. For example, if you want to watch the ESPN feed of a San Francisco Giants game, don’t connect to a server in San Francisco.
- This should lift the geo-blocks caused by the blackout policy and will enable you to watch the ballgame at your leisure.
If you want to watch the MLB while traveling or if you reside outside the US, the MLB Out-of-Market packages or international broadcasting will have you covered.
Online streaming services that will stream MLB live
As well as catching the action on channels like ESPN, TBS, Fox, Fox Sports 1 and BT Sport, you can also stream the action. There are a number of streaming services that will show MLB this season. Here is a list of streaming services and how much it will cost:
|Hulu + Live TV||$64.99 per month|
|YouTube TV||$64.99 per month|
|fuboTV||$59.99 per month|
|Sling TV (Orange + Blue)||$50 per month|
|AT&T TV||$69.99 per month|
|MLB All Teams Out-Of-Market package||$129.99 for the season|
|MLB Single Team Out-Of-Market package||$109.99 for the season|
All of the streaming TV packages offer the channels with broadcasting rights to the games. The exception is fuboTV, which does show ESPN, FOX and FS1 but it doesn’t have TBS so there will be games that you will miss.
All of them come with a one-week free trial. The problem is that the season starts in April and runs continuously until the final game of the World Series in November. A one-week trial isn’t going to be enough, so you will need to purchase one of these streaming options to make sure you don’t miss a thing. You will also need to make sure you have a reliable VPN to help you bypass geo-restrictions wherever you are in the world.
How to watch MLB online from your location
So, what if you’re traveling or live outside the US? What sort of broadcasting deals exist with overseas companies? While not every country has the broadcasting rights to show the MLB this season, most countries will offer some kind of package. So, let us take you through where to watch the MLB where you are.
Watch MLB online from Canada
In Canada, the broadcasting rights are shared among a few networks. TSN is the main channel for MLB action. Want to watch it in French? No problem as RDS and TVA Sports both show MLB in French. You can sign up to any of these three broadcasters for CA$19.99.
But what about if you’re a mad Toronto Blue Jays fan? Sportsnet is the official and exclusive home to all Blue Jays games in Canada. Sportsnet Now is the best package to watch the Blue Jays, with a cost of CA$24.99 per month. Of course, the MLB.tv option is always available. But Blue Jays games are still subject to blackouts just as they are with TSN, RDS and TVA Sports. So, to make sure you can watch all the matches, you will need a reliable VPN.
Watch MLB online from Europe
There are different broadcasting networks for different groups of European countries. If you want to watch MLB in Austria, Germany, Italy or Switzerland, then you will need to have a subscription to DAZN. Residents in the Balkan countries of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Slovenia or Montenegro, will find MLB on Arena Sport.
The home to MLB in France is beIN Sports, while the broadcasting rights in Spain and Andorra belong to Movistar Deportes. If you want to find MLB in Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, you can find it on NENT.
If you are anywhere else in Europe, or if you want to access coverage of the matches from another country, you will need to use a VPN. This will also keep your data private and secure while you watch.
Watch MLB online from the UK
In both the United Kingdom and Ireland, BT Sports has the rights to the 2021 MLB season. There are two packages to choose from. The first is the BT TV Sport package, which will give you a recordable TV box and access to all BT Sport channels. This will cost £15 per month on a 24-month contract with a £20 upfront fee. The second package is a monthly rolling contract for an App-Only package, which costs £25 per month and can be cancelled at any time.
If you want to access BT Sports from outside the UK, you can use a VPN to connect from anywhere in the world.
Watch MLB online from Australia
MLB is shown on ESPN in Australia on both Foxtel and Kayo Sports. To subscribe to Foxtel, the prices start at $69 per month. Kayo Sports, is an online streaming service that costs just $25 per month. You can access these channels from outside Australia by using a reputable VPN to connect to an Australian server.
How to watch MLB online on your device
The MLB app is available on many devices as are some streaming services mentioned above. It is available on sticks, such as Amazon Fire Stick, Roku and Apple TV. You can also access streaming services such as Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. And luckily, most of the best VPNs, such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark, have mobile apps, so you can watch the action on your smartphone wherever you are in the world.
The MLB app is available on all smartphones and tablets and can be found on both Android and Apple stores. You can also find it on cable services such as Xfinity, and open source media apps such as Kodi. Alternatively, you can get MLB on Smart TVs, so you can watch the game with the family.
Using a VPN to watch MLB and still getting blacked out
While you should be able to access MLB via a VPN without issues, there’s always the chance that there may be an odd curveball that may cause problems. These are very easily fixed and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to sort. The most common solution to any problem is to clear your cache.
If this doesn’t work, it could be that you are using a low-end VPN. Make sure you are connected to a reputable VPN.
The other problem that you may encounter is MLB’s blackout policy. If, for example, you want to watch the Chicago Cubs and have connected to a server in Chicago, you won’t be able to access the match. You need to ensure that you connect to a server in an area that is broadcasting the game.
2021 MLB season details
The Covid-19 pandemic meant last season was cut from 162 games to just 60, making it the shortest campaign since 1878, with the playoffs being extended from 10 teams to 16. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 World Series and now this season is reverting to normal. The original 162-game regular season format is returning in 2021.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series, with the New York Yankees, San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox all expected to challenge for the title. The 2021 campaign is also going to be the last season of Cleveland competing under the moniker of Indians after years of controversy over the name. Cleveland, who hold the record for the longest winning streak of 22 games in 2017, are expected to announce their new name, uniform and stadium changes before the end of 2021.Despite the global pandemic, the MLB still has no plans to lift the blackout restrictions, so you will still need a VPN to access all the games. NordVPN is particularly good for this, as it has a huge number of servers across the US.
Is using a VPN to watch MLB legal?
Is MLB TV free with Amazon Prime?
While you can access MLB TV on Amazon Prime, it is not free. Once a 7-day free trial is completed, you will be charged $24.99 per month, or a one-time payment for $121.99 per year.
How can I watch MLB without cable?
There are a number of ways to watch MLB without cable. You can use a VPN to access the matches on MLB.tv, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and AT&T TV Now from anywhere in the world.
How do you change your MLB TV location?
The best way to change your MLB TV location is to use a VPN to connect to a server in another place. This will make it appear as though you’re in a different location.