watch out-of-market NFL games

The 2023 NFL season is scheduled to get underway on September 7 when defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions in the NFL Kickoff Game. Unfortunately, blackout restrictions still pose a problem for football fans in the US. If you’re worried about missing out on your team’s games in 2023, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain how and where to watch out-of-market NFL games with a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

First, it’s worth knowing that a VPN is a service that allows you to bypass NFL blackout restrictions by changing your IP address. In doing so, you can spoof your location and access live streams that aren’t otherwise available in your current physical location. This is regardless of whether you’re in the US or traveling overseas. On top of that, a VPN may even improve your live sports streaming experience if you’re suffering from ISP throttling.

How to watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN

Don’t have time to read the full post? Here’s a quick explanation of how you can watch out-of -market NFL games with the help of a VPN.

Here’s how to watch out-of-market NFL games by using a VPN:

  1. Start by signing up with a suitable VPN. We recommend NordVPN. However, you can also bypass blackouts with the help of Surfshark and ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on the device on which you plan to stream out-of-market NFL games. The above VPNs let you connect multiple devices at once.
  3. Log in to the VPN app and connect to a server in a country outside the US and Canada. For example, a server in the UK to get a UK IP address.
  4. Sign up with NFL Game Pass International if you haven’t already. You’ll need to select the “Pro” plan in order to watch all games live.
  5. You should now be able to watch out-of-market NFL games regardless of your location. Stream blocked? Clear your browser’s cookies. Be sure to try more than one server.


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What are out-of-market NFL games?

Out-of-market NFL games are those that are available outside of the broadcast region you’re in. Often you’ll find that you can’t live stream your local team’s games because your local broadcaster (in this case Fox or CBS) has exclusive rights and the game is only available via traditional cable TV.

A game being out-of-market is just another way of saying it’s region-locked. This is nothing new when it comes to the content of streaming services which is typically protected by copyright and licensing agreements. NFL games are no exception. The NFL sells broadcast rights to local broadcasters, which forces streaming services to black out streams for local fans. Fortunately, there are a few ways to watch out-of-market NFL games that we’ll cover below.

Watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN

NFL Sunday Ticket

One of the easiest ways to watch out-of-market NFL games is by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket. This is an out-of-market sports package for US residents that carries all of the Sunday afternoon games from Fox and CBS (not including those available on your local CBS or Fox affiliate). This is ideal if you’re a fan of a team but don’t reside in that team’s market. While this package was previously distributed by DirecTVit’s moving exclusively to YouTube TV for the 2023 NFL season.

NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV currently costs USD $349 ($389 with NFL RedZone included). Purchased with access to YouTube TV, it costs just $249 ($289 with RedZone) but requires the YouTube TV base plan which costs an additional $72.99/month. Needless to say, this option may not be for everybody because it’s fairly expensive and YouTube TV is only available in the US. As such a VPN and US IP address is required to watch from overseas.

NFL Game Pass International

One of the most affordable ways to get access to all 272 NFL games in 2023 is via NFL Game Pass. While this used to be available in the US, the service has since become NFL+ in the country. Fortunately, you can still find NFL Game Pass International. Prices vary by country and may be subject to change ahead of the upcoming 2023 NFL season. However, you can expect to pay around GBP £150 in the UK which works out at around USD $180.

The advantage of NFL Game Pass International is that it’s available in most countries worldwide. However, it’s important to know that starting with the 2023 NFL season, NFL Game Pass will be moving to DAZN where it will be available as a standalone subscription or as an add-on package. DAZN is notoriously difficult to access from abroad even with a VPN and this may make NFL Game Pass a less reliable option going forward.

NFL Game Pass is available in most countries. If you’re in a country in which it’s not offered (such as the US), you’ll need to connect to a server in a different location. This will change your IP address and allow you to bypass the restrictions.

NFL+ Premium

If you don’t mind waiting, NFL+ lets you stream every game in full after it has already aired. Furthermore, you can use it to watch local and primetime regular season games live on mobile. It also includes live access to NFL Network as well as live audio of every game. All of this costs $9.99 a month, which of course works out a lot cheaper than NFL Sunday Ticket. If you can do without the full game replays then there’s an even more affordable plan at just $4.99 a month.

NFL+ is only available in the US, so you’ll need to use a VPN in order to continue streaming its content from other countries.

NFL RedZone

NFL RedZone might not feature full individual games but does have simulcast coverage of all Sunday afternoon games. This may be suitable if you’re keen not to miss out on any of Sunday’s action, regardless of the teams involved (it’s a particularly popular choice among fantasy football enthusiasts!).

You may already have a cable TV subscription that includes NFL RedZone, in which case you’ll be able to watch at no extra cost. Otherwise, you can get RedZone via the following TV streaming services:

  • Fubo TV: $74.99/month + $10.99/month for the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on
  • Hulu with Live TV: $69.99/month with ads (includes Disney+ with ads and ESPN+ with ads) + $9.99 Sports Add-on.
  • Sling TV: $45/month (Blue) + $11/month Sports Extra
  • YouTube TV: $64.99/month for the first three months ($72.99/month thereafter) + $10.99/month Sports Plus

One of the advantages of choosing the above options is that you’ll have access to channels including your local CBS and Fox stations for watching in-market games online. Of the above options, it’s Sling TV that works out to be the most affordable although it’s fair to say Hulu offers particularly good value with the inclusion of Disney+ and ESPN+ (both with ads).

All of the above services are only available in the US, so you’ll need to connect to a VPN’s US server if you’re traveling abroad (outside the US).

Watch out-of-market NFL games: FAQs

Can I use a free VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games?

Most free VPNs will struggle to unblock the options listed above in this post. As such, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to use a free VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games. Free VPNs offer only a small number of servers and IP addresses, limiting your options when it comes to unblocking content. Besides, free VPNs are far too slow for live sports streaming. Their tendency to engage in bandwidth throttling often results in a great deal of lag and buffering.

It’s also important to be aware of some of the security risks that come with using a free VPN. For example, some may not properly encrypt your data while others will lack key features such as a kill switch. Free VPNs often make money by logging your browsing data and selling the information to third parties. Needless to say, free VPNs are far from ideal if you’d like to watch out-of-market NFL games without compromising your online privacy.

Is it legal to watch out-of-market NFL games with a VPN?

First of all, it should be said that it’s legal to use a VPN to watch out-of-market NFL games. However, it likely goes against the terms and conditions of the streaming platform you’re using.

Streaming services often reserve the right to take action against your account (such as suspending or closing your account), but it’s unlikely to occur. Instead, you may find that your VPN IP address is blacklisted. You can get around this by switching servers and changing your IP address.

Will a VPN slow my connection when streaming NFL games?

It’s likely that using a VPN will slow your connection to an extent. This may be most noticeable during more bandwidth-intensive activities such as streaming. The reason for this is that internet traffic is encrypted and routed to the VPN server before its ultimate destination (the website or service you’re visiting).

The good news is that we’ve identified the fastest VPNs through a series of speed tests. With these VPNs, you won’t necessarily notice a dip in performance when streaming. Their fast protocols (such as WireGuard) and unlimited bandwidth ensure a buffer-free experience.

Is there anywhere I can stream out-of-market NFL games for free?

While you can’t technically stream out-of-market NFL games for free, there are a couple of exceptions which we’ll explain below.

First, it’s worth mentioning that if you have a US cable TV subscription, you can watch out-of-market NFL games online at no extra cost, providing you use a VPN to bypass the restrictions.

You can also use the likes of YouTube TV, which is the new home of NFL Sunday Ticket, and NFL Game Pass International (now available via DAZN) to stream out-of-market NFL games.

It’s important to note that neither of these services is available for free. However, it’s possible to get a 7-day free trial with both (at least at the time of writing). As such, you could theoretically sign up, stream out-of-market NFL games, and cancel before the free trial is up.

Remember, you’d need to use a VPN to access NFL Sunday Ticket on YouTube TV and NFL Game Pass on DAZN while traveling abroad. Note that DAZN is particularly difficult to access due to its tough stance against the use of VPNs.