How to Watch March Madness Outside the US
March Madness is the kind of annual event no sports lover wants to miss. However, people living outside the US don’t really have much of an option since they can’t watch the matches.
If you’re in that situation, don’t worry – we’ll show you how to watch March Madness outside the US with this quick article.
Isn’t March Madness Available Outside the US?
Not exactly. You are able to access the March Madness website from outside the country, and watch videos and read news on it. However, if you try to view live coverage of matches, you’re going to have a hard time managing to do that.
Why? Because the platform uses geo-blocks that prevent you from accessing certain content if you’re not physically located in the US.
What Are Geo-Blocks & How Do They Work?
Geo-blocks (also referred to as geo-restrictions) are technology that allows websites to restrict access to users based on what geographical region they are sending connections requests from.
Basically, any website that uses geo-restrictions will analyze the user’s IP address to see their real geo-location. Once it does that, it will either whitelist it and give the user access, or blacklist it and deny access or redirect the user to another page – all based on rules that are pre-defined by the content provider.
Why Are Geo-Blocks Used?
It’s hard to say, but the main reason is likely related to copyright regulations. Most of the services and channels that broadcast the matches don’t own the rights to them, so they can’t choose to make them available worldwide by themselves.
But what about the NCAA website then? Well, that’s the best place to watch the matches if you want to enjoy the highest quality, and the platform likely owns some copyright rights on some matches (if not all). However, the website doesn’t own licensing rights in every single country around the world, which are necessary if they would want to make the streams available all over the globe. Purchasing licensing rights can be extremely expensive, so NCAA likely won’t do that – and neither would other copyright holders.
So the geo-blocking is more understandable now. Of course, it’s not acceptable. After all, you won’t get access to some amazing matches simply because you’re in a different part of the world – and that will apply to you even if you are from the US!
Here’s How to Watch March Madness Outside the US With Ease
No, you won’t need to move to the US or travel there during March Madness to see the matches. The solution is much simpler – you just need to hide you real geo-location on the Internet. To do that, you’ve basically got two options:
1. Use a VPN Service
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service that hides your IP address – among other things. By doing that, it allows you to easily bypass geo-blocks. Also, because your IP is hidden, you can watch March Madness at work or school if it’s blocked on the network
All you need to do is run the VPN, connect to a VPN server that’s based in the US, and your real IP address will be replaced with the server’s own address.
2. Use a Smart DNS
Smart DNS services replace the DNS address your ISP assigned you with a new one from a different DNS server. Few people know this, but your DNS address can actually leak your geo-location, so a Smart DNS is a good way of hiding it.
Besides just hiding your geo-location by replacing your DNS address, a Smart DNS will also intercept all your connection requests to the March Madness website. Why? Because your requests contain data that reveals your geo-location. So, a Smart DNS replaces that info with new data that points to a location in the US.
“Which Option Should I Try?”
Well, they both have their pros and cons. It really depends on your preferences, though. For example, if you want to get constant high speeds, you’re better off choosing a Smart DNS. Since it doesn’t use any encryption, it can’t interfere with your connections speeds.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind an occasional drop in speeds, want to secure your online data, and are also interested in bypassing firewalls, a VPN is a much better option.
Normally, we’d recommend looking for a provider that offers access to both services. That way, you get to really see which one best meets your needs without wasting too much time and money. If that sounds good to you, feel free to check out our service.
What to Keep in Mind
Without a US cable subscription, you still might encounter some difficulties when watching March Madness with a Smart DNS or VPN. You’ll be able to use the app to watch games without logging in, but you’ll only have a grace period of three hours for streaming.
The best way to bypass that obstacle is to unblock CBS Sports since the platform is free to use, and offers complete access to March Madness events. Alternatively, if you own a PlayStation, you can try configuring one of the services on it, and watch the matches on PlayStation Vue.
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Why Is March Madness So Popular?
If you love basketball, you can’t afford to miss out on March Madness (also known as The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament) – one of the most famous annual sporting events in the US. It’s a highly entertaining single-elimination tournament that currently comprises around 64 college basketball teams. So, there’s plenty of fun to be had.
The matches can be viewed on various platforms, including the NCAA’s website, and most of the coverage is live.
March Madness is what all sports junkies are looking forward to when spring rolls around each year. It’s just too bad that all the matches can only be viewed live in the US. If you’re outside the country, tough luck because geo-restrictions will keep you at bay.
Why? Probably because broadcasters need to respect copyright and licensing regulations, meaning they can’t freely make any content they want available worldwide. A bit understandable, yes, but still not fair for people like you.
There’s good news, though. If you want to learn how to watch March Madness outside the US, you just need to use a VPN or Smart DNS service to bypass those pesky geo-blocks. Just make sure you pick a provider that offers access to both since it’s much more convenient.