The 2022 MLB season is back! But blackouts are still here.
If you are away from home and want to access your home streaming services as normal and avoid blackouts there is a solution.
In this article, we’ll show you how to bypass MLB.tv blackouts and watch all 2022 MLB games both from inside and outside the United States. To avoid blackouts and stream the 2022 MLB season without cable, you’ll need an active MLB.tv subscription, a desktop web browser such as Chrome or Firefox, and a VPN.
A VPN service will make it appear as though you are streaming the game from a different location where blackouts are not in place. This means if you are traveling out of state or abroad you can connect to your home streaming services as you normally would.
The 2021 MLB regular season consists of 162 games, pending quarantines resulting from COVID-19 outbreaks.
How to bypass MLB.tv blackouts: quick guide
Here’s a quick rundown for those of you who don’t want to bother reading the whole article.
Here’s how to watch blackout games:
- Sign up for and download a good VPN service provider with plenty of bandwidth and server locations. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Install the VPN app on your Macbook or PC and run it.
- Connect to a server in a location where the game you want to watch is not blacked out.
- Open your web browser and go to MLB.tv to watch the game as you normally would.
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE?
NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for MLB.tv with no restrictions for a month—great if you just want to catch a specific event or are going abroad.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn't right for you and you'll get a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Bypass MLB blackouts with a VPN
Major League Baseball fans in the United States who bought MLB.tv subscriptions are feeling betrayed by the fact that they can’t watch all the games promised to them due to live blackouts. MLB.com’s own website claims subscribers, who pay $25 per month or $120 per year, can “watch every out-of-market game regular season game live or on demand on over 400 supported devices.”
Scroll down to the fine print, however, and the reality is quite different. Fans have expressed anger toward MLB.tv that many games are region-locked due to local licensing restrictions, forcing them to buy a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to watch. According to MLB.tv’s blackout policy:
“All live games streamed on any MLB.TV product and available through MLB.com At Bat are subject to local, regional or national blackouts. Except for certain MLB regular season and Postseason games as described below or in certain MLB Club home television territories for which MLBAM may offer in-market subscription Services, all live games will be blacked out in each applicable Club’s home television territory. If a game is blacked out in an area, it is not available for live game viewing through MLB.TV.”
Luckily, there’s a workaround. A VPN, or virtual private network, reroutes all of a device’s internet traffic through a location of the user’s choosing. Fans can make it look as though they are watching from a different state or even country in order to bypass the blackout. Good VPNs usually require a monthly subscription fee, but it’s far cheaper than buying cable TV.
What is a live blackout, exactly?
Before every MLB season, executives sit down and decide which broadcasting companies get the rights to which games. Often, a regional TV affiliate, such as your local Fox, NBC, or ABC TV station, gets exclusive rights to games played by the local teams, and they don’t share. They also don’t live stream games online much of the time. Even MLB itself can’t broadcast those games online or on TV within that geographic market.
You can find out which games will be blacked out in advance using MLB.tv’s regularly updated list or using the MLB blackout map below.
These content rights often bar MLB.tv subscribers from watching the teams they care about most–the ones closest to them. Both the home and visiting teams’ broadcasts are blacked out in their respective regions.
Whenever a fan goes to watch a game on a web browser or on the MLB.tv app, the app or website checks the device’s IP address. The IP address is used to determine the viewer’s location. If that viewer falls within the blackout region, the live stream is blocked. Instead of a live stream, you’ll get one of the following error messages:
- “We’re sorry. The broadcasters’ required blackout checks cannot be performed at this time. Please try again in a few moments.”
- “We’re sorry. We have determined that you are located inside one of the applicable Club’s home television territories and are therefore blacked out of watching the game you selected. Live Audio of this game is available as part of your MLB.TV subscription.”
- “Due to Major League Baseball exclusivities, live games occurring each Saturday with a scheduled start time after 1:10 PM ET or before 8:00 PM ET and each Sunday with a scheduled start time after 5:00 PM ET, will be blacked out in the United States.”
- “Media Error. This game is temporarily unavailable. Please try again in a few moments.”
- This video is not currently available due to local or national blackout restrictions. Please click “Learn More” if you require assistance.
The situation has been made worse by conflicts between TV companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which further fragment the channels available on cable.
Bypass MLB.tv blackouts in a web browser
Among other functions, a VPN can change your IP address to that of another location. After you connect to a VPN server, just clear your cookies and refresh the page where the game you want to watch is streaming.
Most VPNs have native clients you can easily download and install. After setup, just select a server location and hit connect.
We tested this out by connecting to a Chicago server and attempting to watch a Cubs game. Sure enough, we got a message alerting us the game is under a local blackout.
Next, we connected to servers in Canada using NordVPN, which worked flawlessly. A quick refresh was all that was needed to unblock the stream; no more blackout messages.
Some games are under national blackouts, so for this, we tested servers in Mexico and Argentina. This worked fine as well.
Ideally, you want to connect to the location that is geographically closest to you but still beyond the blackout region. This speeds up the internet connection and results in a higher quality stream. In case of a nationwide blackout, however, connecting to another country should work. The one exception may be Canada, where some MLB teams hail from.
Bypassing MLB.tv blackouts on Android and iOS MLB At Bat app
If you want to bypass a blackout on the MLB At Bat app on either iOS or Android, we’re sorry to inform you that this is now much harder as of 2017. When we tested this before, we advised users to connect to a VPN server with an IP address outside of their blackout market. Android users could then use a fake GPS app to spoof their location to match the one set in their VPN.
This method no longer works. At Bat now requires your GPS location before viewing any game and can detect whether a mock location is being used in Android. It will block the stream accordingly, instead, showing the error message:
“At bat is unable to reliably verify your location. Tap Help below for more information about blackout restrictions.”
As of the 2017 season, bypassing MLB At Bat’s blackout restrictions require Android phones and tablets to be rooted, and iPhones and iPads to be jailbroken.
Below we’ll show you a few strategies you can try, but we make no guarantees that they will work.
Bypass MLB At Bat blackouts on Android
- Root your Android phone. The process for doing this is complicated and can brick your device if not done properly, so proceed with caution. Because the root process varies by device, we do not provide instructions for this step.
- Download and install FakeGPS or the GPS location-spoofing app of your choice (except for option C).
- Download and install MLB At Bat (except for option C). If it’s already installed, clear your app cache data in your device’s storage settings.
From here you have three options to try:
- Install Hide Mock Locations from the Xposed Module (requires root).
- In Settings > Developer Options enable “Allow mock locations” or, on newer versions of Android, choose you GPS location-spoofing app
- Open Hide Mock Locations and set it to blacklist mode.
- Add MLB At Bat to the blacklist
- Open your GPS location-spoofing app and drop the pin somewhere outside of your blackout region where a VPN server is available.
- Open your VPN app and connect to a server close to the location you chose in the previous step.
- Open MLB At Bat and stream the game!
- Move your GPS app from /data/app to /system/app using Root Explorer or a similar file manager app (requires root)
- Restart your device.
- In Settings > Developer Options disable Mock Locations (if enabled)
- Open your location-spoofing app and set your location to somewhere outside of the blackout region where a VPN server is available
- Open your VPN app and connect to a server close to the location you chose in the previous step.
- Open MLB At Bat and stream the game!
- Install XPrivacy from the Xposed Module (requires root).
- When installing MLB At Bat, you will see a list of permissions. When this list appears, open your device Settings
- Tap the Randomize Now button.
- Set an IP address to a location outside of your blackout region (you can use your VPN’s IP address if you wish)
- Restrict all permissions except Internet
- In your Android settings, set Location to High Accuracy mode
- Finish installing MLB At Bat, open it, and stream the game!
Should you run into issues with Option B, some users have reported that restarting into Recovery and clearing out Cache/Dalvik Cache can solve some problems. You can also try discarding your login info by using “delete data” in the MLB At Bat settings, then logging in again.
Bypass MLB At Bat blackouts on iOS
- Jailbreak your iPhone or iPad. The process for doing this is complicated and can permanently brick your device if not done properly, so proceed with caution. Jailbreaking varies depending on your iPad or iPhone model, so we do not provide instructions for this step.
- Download and install Protect My Privacy (PMP) from the Cydia store
- Download and install MLB At Bat and open the stream.
- When MLB At Bat asks for permission to view your location using your GPS, PMP will display a prompt. Choose the option to “protect” your location, which will substitute a random GPS location rather than simply blocking access
- You may also need to connect to a VPN to change your IP address (to be confirmed)
- Stream the game!
MLB.tv streaming FAQs
Is It Illegal to Use VPN to Stream MLB.TV?
That being said, we haven't seen any precedent of the MLB taking such action against VPN users.
How Do I Know If an MLB Game is Blacked Out?
If you are in the local market of either the home or away baseball team, the game will most likely be blacked out. You can find a list of MLB blackout restrictions by entering your zip code here.
Does MLB Extra Innings have blackouts?
Yes, games on MLB Extra Innings are subject to the same blackouts as MLB.tv.
Can I watch MLB TV internationally?
Yes! In fact, watching from another country is an easy way to avoid blackout restrictions. If you’re in the USA, you could, for example, connect to a server in Canada or Mexico to bypass US blackouts.
Note that you may still need an American form of payment and a US zip code in order to sign up for MLB.tv.
Are mlb.tv blackouts also based on billing address?
You can check any US zip code on MLB.tv’ website to find out which games are blacked out in a given area. However, when it comes time to actually watch a stream, your IP address and device location services are used to determine your location and whether a stream is blacked out.
If you are watching in a web browser like Chrome or Firefox, only your IP address is used to determine your location. That’s why we recommend combining a VPN with a web browser to unblock MLB.tv streams.
The MLB app for iOS and Android uses your device’s GPS and other available location services to determine your location, and a VPN is less effective against these checks.
Are there any alternatives to MLB.tv?
Yes, you can watch the entire MLB season on streaming services other than MLB.tv. These over-the-top streaming services usually come with free trials:
- Fubo TV
- Sling TV
- Youtube TV
- Hulu Live
- AT&T TV Now
These still require a US IP address and payment method to use, but they are much less strict than MLB.tv, especially if you prefer to use watch with an app instead of a desktop web browser. You can get an American IP address with a VPN.
Learn more about how to live stream MLB baseball online without cable.
Can I Use SmartDNS Services To Watch MLB Games?
Yes. A Smart DNS service is an alternative method that internet users can leverage to spoof their location elsewhere. This will allow you to access content that is usually restricted to where you live. The only important thing to remember is that Smart DNS services do not provide the additional privacy you get with a VPN.
For this reason, it is better to subscribe to a VPN service that also provides a Smart DNS service with a subscription. This means that when you pay for your account you get access to both a full VPN, and all the privacy benefits that come along with it, and an additional Smart DNS service you can use to access content (as well as the VPN) if you want to.
Smart DNS services are useful for accessing content and devices that will not allow you to install a VPN directly, such as games consoles and certain smart TVs. The good news is that numerous of our top VPN recommendations for MLB throw in a free Smart DNS service for free with their VPN subscription.