ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer

I live in New Zealand where unfortunately, iPlayer isn’t available. And to add to the woes, we don’t get coverage of a lot of shows and movies that are available on the service.

For that reason, I’ve been using ExpressVPN to watch Match of the Day, MasterChef and a whole lot more on BBC iPlayer in New Zealand, but recently I’ve been running into a few issues when trying to access BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN turned on. It’s almost as if the VPN isn’t hiding my location and BBC iPlayer is able to figure out I’m not in the UK, even with ExpressVPN connected to a UK server.

When this happens, I come across this error:

“BBC iPlayer only works in the UK: Sorry it’s due to rights issues”

The good news is, I managed to fix it. And I’m going to show you how I did it.

How I fixed ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer

Usually, ExpressVPN works really well with BBC iPlayer, but on some occasions, I do run into some issues. This process is what I go through every time I run into problems:

ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer 1
  1. Change server

    If BBC iPlayer isn’t working with ExpressVPN, the first thing I do is change to a different UK server. Nine times out of ten this will fix the problem. I always intentionally look for a server that I think will have less people. So instead of connecting to a London server I’ll try the Docklands option.
  2. Try a different device

    If changing server doesn’t work, I always test to see whether it’s my device that’s causing issues or ExpressVPN. To do this I try to watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN on a different device. If it works, I know that the VPN isn’t the problem, if it doesn’t, I know that ExpressVPN may be having issues working with BBC iPlayer currently.
  3. Reinstall ExpressVPN

    If I figure out it’s not my device that’s causing issues, it probably means its ExpressVPN. To make sure I remove all possible problems I reinstall the VPN. That way, I know it’s a fresh installation with any potential bugs or issues removed, and it will be updated to the latest version whihc may contain some fixes.
  4. Try a different VPN

    If I make it this far and I still can’t watch BBC iPlayer with ExpressVPN, I use a different one. Because I live in New Zealand, I can’t access most of the content other countries broadcast, so I use a VPN often. For that reason, to cover my bases, I subscribe to two VPNs, ExpressVPN and NordVPN. If ExpressVPN isn’t working, I’ll change to NordVPN and there hasn’t been a single time where both VPNs were struggling to work with BBC iPlayer. This almost guarantees a fix to the problem.

    Of course, if you don’t want to subscribe to a different VPN, you can simply wait for ExpressVPN to fix the issue. I’ve done this and because ExpressVPN is a very good VPN it doesn’t takes too long.

    But if you use a VPN often, I recommend subscribing to two, so you double your chances of being able to watch BBC iPlayer. If you’re interested in NordVPN, which I think is probably the best VPN on the market, you can get the same deal I got here. This will give you a discount and an extra three months of your subscription for free.
ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer 2
Patch Bowen
Patch Bowen is an accomplished technology journalist with a solid academic foundation, holding a degree from Auckland University. His expertise spans across a range of tech topics, with a notable focus on product reviews, industry trends, and the impact of technology on society. With his work featured on major New Zealand websites like,, and The Press, Patch has established himself as a credible voice in technology media. His articles are known for their detailed analysis and practical insights, particularly in making complex technological concepts understandable for a broad audience. At ReviewsFire, Patch is renowned for his thorough evaluations and clear, informative writing style. He has a knack for identifying and explaining the nuances of the latest gadgets and digital trends, earning him a reputation as a trusted source for tech advice and information.


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