How to watch Match of The Day abroad

If you’re outside of the UK and want to watch MOTD, unfortunately, BBC iPlayer won’t work. You’ll run into an error that says “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.”

This error is coming up because the BBC doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside the UK and unfortunately, that means you can’t watch MOTD when abroad.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to fix this. You need a UK IP address and the easiest way to get one is with a reliable VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month).

In this article, I will explain how you can use a VPN to unblock BBC iPlayer and reliably watch MOTD outside of the UK.

See also:

How to watch MOTD outside of the UK: Quick Fix

To watch MOTD abroad, you need access to BBC iPlayer and if you’re outside of the UK, BBC iPlayer’s content will be blocked.

To get around these blocks you need a VPN that is compatible with BBC iPlayer and that has reliable servers based in the UK. We recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). Both of these VPNs work well with BBC iPlayer and they have fast servers all over the world.

To watch MOTD outside of the UK all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

Total Time: 3 minutes

  1. Create a new account with NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month)

    If you want to watch BBC iPlayer when you’re outside the UK you need a good VPN.

  2. Download and install the new VPN app

    When you have a VPN that work’s with BBC iPlayer, you need to download and install the app on your device. All good VPNs have Windows and Mac apps and are available on the iPhone and Android app stores too.

  3. Select a server based in the UK

    Now that you have your VPN installed, you need to connect to a server in the UK to reroute your device’s internet traffic through a UK IP address.

  4. Create an account with BBC iPlayer

    If you haven’t already, you need to sign up for a BBC account. Take a look at our How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad article if you need help doing this.

  5. Watch MOTD anywhere in the world

    That’s it. You now have everything you need to watch Match Of The Day from anywhere in the world.

Why do I need a VPN to watch MOTD outside the UK?

The BBC is a UK based broadcaster and although it’s a public broadcasting service, it still has to answer to licencing and copyright agreements.

The BBC doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content outside of the UK and to avoid copyright and licensing issues it blocks users outside of the UK from accessing its content. This is why you’re running into the “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues,” error when trying to stream MOTD.

To unblock MOTD you need to fool BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re trying to watch the service from within the UK. To do that you need a UK IP address. This is what VPNs allow you to do. The best VPNs like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) can provide you with a UK IP address and this allows you to stream MOTD outside of the UK reliably.

How does BBC iPlayer block my connection?

The way BBC blocks your connection is all to do with your IP address.

Whenever you go online, you’re given a unique IP address. These are similar to area codes for landline phones in that they contain information about where you’re when you connect to the internet.

The BBC scans IP addresses that connect to the iPlayer service, and if it finds that you’re connecting from outside the UK it blocks you from accessing the content. You will be able to go on the website, but as soon as you try and play MOTD it won’t work.

To get around these blocks you need a VPN like NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) that will give you a UK IP address that will fool BBC iPlayer into thinking you’re trying to watch MOTD from within the UK.

How does a VPN work?

A VPN will allow you to have an anonymous internet connection and it can give you an IP address in a country of your choosing.

When using a VPN, your internet data is encrypted and rerouted through a server of your choosing. When your data is rerouted, you’re provided with an IP address based in the country where you chose the server. This makes it look like you’re connecting to the internet from that country.

So to watch MOTD all you need to do is select a UK based server and you’ll be given a UK IP address that will allow you to access all of the content on BBC iPlayer when you’re outside the UK.

Will any VPN work?

No, not every VPN will work. This is because the BBC iPlayer tries to prevent VPN connections from accessing its service. The good news is that the BBC doesn’t have the ability to block an entire VPN, only the IP addresses it provides. The bad news is that lesser VPNs don’t have endless IP addresses and inevitably the BBC identifies and blocks all of them, meaning your VPN will no longer work and you won’t be able to watch MOTD abroad.

The BBC blocks VPN IP addresses using three main techniques:

  1. Streaming services constantly monitor for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks. This test is basic. But cheaper VPNs will fail it, meaning your connection isn’t fully secure and will be blacklisted. Good VPNs such as NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month) won’t fail this basic test.
  2. There are GeoIP databases that collect IP information and verify the IP address you’re connecting from. If your VPN is using an IP address in one of these databases, you won’t be able to stream MOTD from outside the UK.
  3. The BBC makes its own IP checks. If the channel detects a large number of connections coming from the same IP address simultaneously, they know that that is an IP address provided by a VPN and they will blacklist that IP address.

This means selecting the right VPN is very important. If you want to reliably watch MOTD from anywhere in the world you need a VPN that can stay one step ahead of the BBC’s blocking techniques. Lesser VPNs don’t have measures in place to get around the BBC’s checks and this can result in you not being able to watch MOTD outside of the UK and you could lose money subscribing to a VPN that won’t work.

This is why we recommend NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month). These VPNs have measures in place to stay one step ahead of the BBC’s blocking techniques. When the BBC identifies and blocks an IP address provided by NordVPN ($3.49/month) or Ivacy ($1.33/month), these VPNs close that IP and open a new one. This cat and mouse game allows you to watch MOTD reliably from anywhere in the world.

The best VPNs for watching MOTD outside of the UK

1. NordVPN

The BEST VPN of 2021

NordVPN US screenshot mobile

Pro

  • Fast servers
  • No logs
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 6-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • No refunds for purchases from iTunes/App store

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Number of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $3.49/month for 2-years
  • $6.99/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • beIN SPORTS icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And its easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunnelling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.

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2. Ivacy

The BEST low-cost VPN

Ivacy US screenshot mobile

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • 5-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Sometimes runs slow
  • Occasionally blocked by streaming sites

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Number of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $1.16/month for 5-years
  • $3.50/month for 1-year
  • $9.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • NowTV icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.

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3. ExpressVPN

A very reliable and fast VPN

ExpressVPN UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive

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Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $6.66/month for 15 months
  • $9.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.95/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • NowTV icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • Spark Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
ExpressVPN is still one of the best VPNs you can buy. However, we’ve got it ranked in the number three spot for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the most expensive VPN on the market. This was understandable when it was also the fastest and most reliable VPN too. But now it’s not. NordVPN is. ExpressVPN has recently been struggling to unblock some big streaming sites – BBC iPlayer and BeIN Sports – too. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.

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4. Private Internet Access

The BEST mid-range VPN for streaming!
Private Internet Access UK screenshot

Pros

  • Fast and reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 10-simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 48 server locations

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Number of servers: 25,000+ | Speeds: >75% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 70 in 74 countries | Devices supported: 10 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.19/month for 3-years
  • $3.33/month for 1-year
  • $11.95/month for 1-month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • NowTV icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • TVNZ icon
  • ESPN icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • CBC Gem icon
Private Internet Access is one of the leading no-log VPN services with over 1 million paying customers. This VPN is one of the best in the industry at beating streaming sites’ VPN bans. It provides reliable connections with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+ Amazon Prime Video, etc. It also allows 10 simultaneous devices to be connected to its servers at the same time, so you can share the account with your close friends. If, for whatever reason, you’re not happy with Private Internet Access, there’s a 24/7 live chat support available to assist you with your problem. PIA also offers the industry-standard 30-days money-back guarantee. From my tests (from New Zealand) I was able to get download speeds of 70 Mbps while connected to a UK server using the Private Internet Access VPN (my non-VPN speed is 100 Mbps).

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5. CyberGhost

CyberGhost UK screenshot

Pros

  • 1-day free trial
  • Reliable servers
  • Thousands of IP addresses
  • 7-simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy-to-use app

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Average speed scores

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Number of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes
  • $2.75/month for 3 years
  • $3.69/month for 2 years
  • $5.99/month for 6 months
  • $12.99/month for 1 month
  • Netflix icon
  • Hulu icon
  • BBC iPlayer icon
  • HBO Max icon
  • Disney icon
  • Amazon Prime Video icon
  • ABC icon
  • All 4 icon
  • CBS icon
  • NBC icon
  • NowTV icon
  • Sky Sports icon
  • BT Sport icon
  • ITV Hub icon
  • CBC Gem icon
CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.

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