Home > Our Products > What are Local Blackouts and How to Bypass them?

What are Local Blackouts and How to Bypass them?

In terms of broadcasting, blackout refers to a situation when television and media programs are not aired in certain regions. You will find that sports events are the most common television programs to suffer from blackouts. However, other television and radio programming may also be blacked out at times.

Some times, a local station will pre-empt a television program, for broadcasting important news or a special program. These pre-emptions should not be confused with blackouts.

Blackouts take place in countries across the globe, but have become very common in North America. The Canadian and the US National Hockey League, Major League Baseball (MLB) and event the National Basketball Association have to deal with local blackouts.

Blackouts in sports leagues

The Football League in Canada has to deal with numerous blackouts on a regular basis. The Hockey League in Canada does have a ‘no blackout policy’ which depends upon the ticket sales. So the games which are broadcast nationally are never blacked out. However, some of the regional broadcasts are under the control of regional teams and can be blacked out.

For Major League Baseball, the blackouts have nothing to do with the attendance figures. Instead, the blackouts take place to safeguard the contracts which are owned by broadcasters. So, if a national broadcaster does not own the rights to a game in a local region, the national feed would be blacked out in the region and local feed would be given priority.

It is not just in the North American countries where people have to deal with local blackouts. These blackouts can happen anywhere and deprive you of your favorite TV programming. And using proxy servers is a smart and efficient method to counter this problem.

Using proxy servers for bypassing local blackouts

Local blackouts have ceased to be a major issue in recent years with the growing use of the internet. The most popular method used to overcome local blackouts is to use a proxy server. A proxy server is a computer that is in a different location than your computer and acts as your gateway to the web. Also, a proxy server helps you by hiding your IP address so you can browse anonymously. Now let us take an example to better understand a local blackout.

Suppose you are a resident of Los Angeles and want to see the Los Angeles Dodgers play on MLB.tv, which is the official site for MLB. You will be faced with disappointment because residents of Los Angeles are blacked out from Dodgers’ games. The site gets to know your location through your IP address and blocks your system form accessing the game. When you use a proxy server, you are able to connect to MLB.tv and hide your IP address. Also, you are able to present an IP address which appears to be from a location which is not blacked out. So, by using a proxy server that is situated in New York or any location other than yours, you will be able to watch the Dodgers game.

What do you need to do?

The first and the most important step is to get a proxy server. You can use free proxies on the net, but not all of them are reliable. All you need is the IP address of the server and the port number, both of which are provided by the proxy server provider. You need to change the network settings in your web browser and enter the details.

Once you have made the changes, you can check whether your IP has been masked or not by going to a site like whatismyipadress.com. The site will tell you the IP address of your machine and the location represented by that address. If the server does not work, then you can find another one. If possible, it is best that you go for anonymous or high-anonymous proxy servers.

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