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Match of the Day BBCBBC

How to watch Match of the Day abroad with a VPN

There aren’t many television shows that have been etched into the British national consciousness quite like BBC’s Match of the Day. The popular football programme has been a staple of screens since it first aired in 1964, with over 5,000 episodes to date.

Anchored by former England striker Gary Lineker and featuring a revolving cast of ex-professional players and stars, it rounds up all the highlights from the Premier League over the matchday weekend on Saturday nights. Its sister show, Match of the Day 2, airs a day later to catch the Sunday action.

As an institution of the small screen, many fans can find themselves bereft when they step outside of the country, be it for business or pleasure, with the majority of BBC content geo-blocked outside of home borders.

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But for those in the know, you don’t have to head abroad and miss out on all the great goals, top tackles and tough-talking points provided by the show, with a VPN allowing users to access the show from wherever they are in the world.

So, whether you’re on a holiday across the sea, or taking your work on the road, how can you watch Match of the Day abroad? GOAL brings you the rundown on what you need to never miss an episode, no matter where you are.

What is Match of the Day?

Gary Lineker, BBC Sport TV PunditGetty Images

Match of the Day is the BBC’s flagship football programme, aired on a weekly basis throughout the Premier League season. It is a highlights package show, presented in the studio by an anchor with links and discussion between each game across a panel of former players-turned-pundits.

First aired in 1964 and currently aired from the corporation’s studios at MediaCity, located close to Manchester, the show has been near the forefront of the British sporting scene for more than half a century and has retained its prestige and status even with the advance of the internet and social media age.

The programme is currently anchored by Gary Lineker, the former Leicester City, Barcelona and England forward, with regular pundits including Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas, Micah Richards and the outgoing Ian Wright, and continues to draw an impressive audience and favourable ratings among its audience.

How can I watch Match of the Day abroad?

VPN FeaturesPetter Lagson / Unsplash

BBC programmes are blocked from streaming outside of the United Kingdom and associated territories, with rights issues preventing their international broadcast in relation to the corporation’s online service, BBC iPlayer, including Match of the Day.

Fans can watch the programme, however, by redirecting their IP address through a VPN. A VPN, also known as a virtual private network, is a system that allows users to operate secure connections from their personal computer devices to non-local networks, effectively masking their existent IP signature.

As BBC iPlayer, as well as other geo-blocked websites and streaming services, will use a device’s IP address to determine overall location, VPNs allow users to circumvent these factors wherever they are in the world. They can access an IP address based within the United Kingdom, which makes them thereby accessible to BBC services.

For more information on how VPNs work, you can visit our article on GOAL here.

What do I need to do to watch Match of the Day abroad?

  1. Firstly, sign up for a VPN account. When it comes to streaming and watching live sports across multiple regions, NordVPNdoes an unbeatable job. You can pick up a subscription to NordVPN from $4.19 a month - but that’s only when getting a 2-year subscription. That works out to $156.56 for the 2 years. A 1-year plan will cost $4.99 a month ($59.88 over the year). If you want to try it out short-term, you can get a rolling monthly membership at $12.99 a month.
  2. Secondly, ensure that you have a BBC account. For users to access BBC iPlayer, they must have an online account. If you do, log in as you would back home in the United Kingdom. If you do not, setting up a BBC account takes only a matter of minutes, and is free to do so.
  3. Then, access BBC iPlayer through your current IP address. You will see that you are either redirected away from the streaming service or, if not, blocked from watching content once you have initially accessed it. This confirms that your existing IP address will not let you watch Match of the Day.
  4. Connect your device to the VPN. Once you have done so, open the application or web page and locate a United Kingdom-based server. Click on it and follow the instructions to activate.
  5. Once you have done so, refresh your browser. You should now be connected to the IP address provided by your VPN, based in the United Kingdom—and with it, able to watch Match of the Day and see all those glorious goals from the Premier League.


Match of the Day - Emirates FA Cup Fourth RoundGetty Images

How can I watch Match of the Day Abroad?

The easiest way to ensure you can watch Match of the Day is to ensure you have a VPN connection. By using a VPN to access a server based in the United Kingdom, you can bypass your local IP address and start streaming all the action from BBC iPlayer.

How long after broadcast can you watch Match of the Day Abroad?

Match of the Day is typically available one week after broadcast on BBC iPlayer. This means that you have seven days from the date the episode airs to watch it back through the corporation’s streaming service.

Can you watch Match of the Day 2 Abroad with a VPN?

Match of the Day 2, the companion show to Match of the Day broadcast on Sunday nights, can also be watched abroad with a VPN. Simply follow the same process you would to watch Match of the Day and access the fellow highlights programme at your leisure.

Is it legal to watch Match of the Day abroad with a VPN?

It is perfectly legal to use a VPN in the United Kingdom and, indeed, in many other countries around the world. Such systems are often an essential part of big business technological models and private communications systems.

However, using a VPN to stream Match of the Day is likely to impinge upon the BBC’s Terms and Conditions regarding the use of BBC iPlayer. While using a VPN carries no repercussions in the United Kingdom, users' applications may breach other rules and guidelines.