How to watch the British Open Championship online

The 148th British Open Championship (officially just ‘The Open’) is fast approaching. On July 18, the world’s best golfers will descend upon the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland for four days of top-level play. The good news is you can watch the entire British Open online. In this post, we’ll explain how you can live stream this golf tournament whether you’re at home or looking to watch from abroad.

Note that we’ll only be recommending official British Open broadcasters. There may be third-party streams available, but as these usually only offer low-resolution video and choppy playback, we don’t recommend using them. Further, unlicensed streams run the risk of being taken down for copyright violation partway through.

This event will only be shown on region-locked platforms. This means that you’ll need a VPN to watch the British Open for free if you’re outside of the US.

How to watch the British Open with a VPN

If you’ve never used a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before, don’t worry: unblocking geo-restricted services is very straightforward:

  1. First, sign up for a suitable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN although NordVPN and CyberGhost are both excellent low-cost alternatives.
  2. Download and install the appropriate app for your operating system.
  3. Connect to a server in the right location (UK for Sky Sports or the British Open site, US for NBC).
  4. Try watching live video. It should load without any buffering or error messages. If not, clear your cache and cookies, then reload the page.

How to watch the British Open for free on US TV

USA flag

NBC Sports is broadcasting the entire event on the Golf Channel. You can login using your cable provider details to watch the 2019 British Open online for free.

Don’t have cable? No problem: Golf Channel also allows you to sign in with a DirecTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, or YouTube TV account, and all of these services include a free trial that’s long enough to watch the entire British Open online. As such, as long as you remember to cancel before the trial ends, you can stream the British Open for free online.

All of the above services are geo-blocked, so you’ll have to either be in the US or connected to an American VPN server in order to use them. Don’t have a VPN yet? ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can live stream the British Open risk-free. If you’re unimpressed or just don’t need a VPN once the tournament is over, you can just cancel to receive a full refund.

How to stream the British Open championship on UK TV

British flag - union jackBritish flag - union jack - UK

Viewers in the UK can watch the 2019 British Open on Sky Sports. Existing Sky TV customers can sign into the Sky Go app and begin streaming at no additional cost. However, if you don’t have cable (or are with a different provider), you’ll have to purchase a Sky Sports Pass on Now TV. These start at £8.99 for a daily pass and increase to £14.99 for a weekly one.

Both of these services are region-locked. As such, you’ll need a VPN to watch the British Open from abroad.

Can I watch the British Open with a free VPN?

Free VPNs can be a tempting prospect, but we strongly advise against using them. First of all, they usually offer lacklustre speeds due to their limited networks and high number of users. Streaming live, HD video is fairly data-intensive, and by using a free VPN at the same time, you set yourself up for stuttering video, endless loading, and intermittent connections. With copyright holders cracking down on VPN users, there’s a strong possibility that a free VPN wouldn’t even allow you to watch.

Finally, there’s the security risk a free VPN poses. Recently, a study showed that almost 40% of surveyed free Android VPN apps contained some form of malware. Further, many didn’t actually encrypt the user’s activities at all. It’s not just mobile devices at risk, either: we’ve seen cases where PC-based VPNs have sold user bandwidth to be used as part of a botnet. We recommend avoiding free VPNs and instead using a reputable VPN provider with a track record of protecting its customers’ privacy.

British Open 2019 schedule

July 19, 2018July 20, 2018July 21, 2018July 22, 2018
First Round
1:30AM - 4PM EST
Second Round
1:30AM - 4PM EST
Third Round
5AM - 7AM EST
Final Round
4AM - 7PM EST

British Open Golf streaming FAQs

Do I need a VPN if I already have Sky Sports/NBC?

Although you can watch live streams originating in your country without a VPN, there are several advantages to using one. In the past, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been caught reducing their customers’ network speeds to discourage streaming. A VPN obscures your activities and makes this kind of throttling harder to justify. This also prevents any outside observers (hackers, network administrators, and so on) from monitoring your activities.

Even if you’re registered for Sky Sports or NBC, these streams are only available from within their respective broadcast areas. This means that if you leave the country, you won’t be able to access the services you pay for. By using a VPN, however, you can make it seem as though you’re in the required region and unlock the streams again.

Can I watch the British Open in 4K or in other languages?

Unfortunately, there are no official foreign language or 4K live streams for the British Open.

Disclaimer: Comparitech does not condone or encourage any copyright violation, including streaming video from pirated sources. Although VPNs can skirt geographical restrictions and mask the user’s identity, please consider the local laws, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.