How to Watch Blackout NHL Games Using a VPN
ESPN+ and NHL.tv use your IP address to determine whether a NHL game is available for viewing in your region.
The only way to legally circumvent these geo-restrictions and watch any NHL blackout game is to use a VPN.
On most devices, you simply have to sign up for a compatible VPN service, connect to a VPN server in a different state, and open ESPN+.
However, the process varies depending on the device you’re using, and whether the game is regionally or nationally blacked out.
For instance, watching blackout games on your computer with a VPN is straightforward, but using a VPN on Roku or Android requires extra steps.
Below you can find detailed steps for each device. Although we’ve mostly used ESPN+ in the instructions, since it’s considerably cheaper, you can use the same methods with NHL.tv.
Importantly, if you want to bypass a national blackout, or get around regional ones on your iPhone, there’s no other option but to use a VPN with NHL.tv.
How to Watch Blackout NHL Games on Desktop (Windows & macOS)
Here’s how to bypass NHL blackout restrictions on a computer:
- Subscribe to a VPN and install the app on your device: we recommend Private Internet Access (PIA) because of its wide range of US server locations, fast speeds, and reliable compatibility with ESPN+.
- Connect to a VPN server in a state where the game is available: you can use our Blackout Map below to see where games are available.
- Open ESPN+ in your web browser and log in.
- Start streaming on ESPN+: Scroll down and select NHL under Leagues. You will now have access to live NHL games that would otherwise be blocked in your area.
Watch the video below for an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to bypass ESPN+ blackout restrictions using a VPN:
How to Stream Blackout NHL Games on Android
The ESPN+ Android app uses your GPS information to verify your location. To stream NHL games on ESPN+ with Android, you have to mimic the GPS location of a different state using a VPN like Surfshark that can spoof your GPS location.
Here’s how to watch ESPN+ NHL blackout games on your Android device:
- Download and install Surfshark VPN: Surfshark is the only VPN that works with ESPN+ and comes with GPS spoofing functionality.
- Activate the GPS Spoofing Feature: Open the Surfshark app, tap Settings, and enable Override GPS location under Advanced settings. You will get a message asking you to enable developer options.
- Enable Developer Options: In order to enable GPS spoofing, you’ll need to activate developer options on your device by going to Settings > About Phone. Tap the ‘Build Number’ 7 times, and you will get a message informing you that you’re in developer mode.
- Select Surfshark as a Mock Location App: Once you’ve enabled developer options, return to the Surfshark app and tap on the arrow to proceed. Then tap Open Settings, followed by the Select Mock Location App option, then SurfShark.
- Connect to a Surfshark VPN server where the game is not restricted: Both your GPS location and IP address will now match your chosen server location.
- Start Streaming on ESPN+: Open the ESPN+ app and start streaming your local NHL game. If you’re still in the wrong region, clear the ESPN+ app’s cache within your phone’s Settings app.
How to Bypass NHL Blackouts on Fire TV and Android TV
Both Fire TV and Android TV support the use of VPN apps or Smart DNS services. That means you can stream geo-restricted NHL games on both devices, as long as you choose a VPN with dedicated solutions.
Here’s how to bypass ESPN+ blackout restrictions on Fire TV and Android TV:
- Subscribe to a compatible VPN service: ExpressVPN has native apps for Fire TV, and Android TV, and works to unblock ESPN+.
- Download and install the ExpressVPN app on your device: Search the Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store for the name of your VPN service. Then, select the download icon.
- Connect to a server in a state where the game is available: Open the VPN app and choose a server in a state where there aren’t any blackout restrictions.
- Open the ESPN app and start streaming your chosen NHL game without any blackout restrictions.
How to Get Around NHL Blackouts on iPhone
On iOS devices, the ESPN+ app uses both the GPS location and IP address of your device to enforce blackout restrictions.
Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t support GPS spoofing functionality, making it impossible to watch blackout NHL games on ESPN+ using an iPhone or iPad.
Luckily, you can still watch blackout NHL games on iOS using NHL.tv, which covers every NHL game, including nationwide blackout games and the Finals without restrictions.
NHL.tv is available in a wide range of countries outside of the US and Canada. This means you’ll need to get a foreign IP address using a VPN.
To watch all NHL games on iPhone and iPad using NHL.tv, follow the steps below:
- Subscribe to a VPN provider: We recommend Private Internet Access for its cheap price, global server locations, fast speeds, and compatibility with NHL.tv.
- Download the PIA app from the App Store: Once you’ve subscribed to PIA, download and install the app on your iOS device.
- Connect to a VPN server in a country where NHL.tv is available: We recommend Germany for the best streaming experience. The European price for NHL.tv is the cheapest and has none of the blackout restrictions found in Canada.
- Sign up for an NHL.tv account: You can use a US credit card to pay for your account.
- Open your browser: Navigate to www.nhl.tv and sign in with your NHL.tv account credentials.
- Streaming any NHL game: With PIA connected to a German server, you can now start streaming all of your favorite NHL teams on iOS without any blackout restrictions.
NHL.tv vs ESPN+: Which One to Use?
Choosing between ESPN+ and NHL.tv can be tricky, as it depends on what game(s) you want to watch, and on what device.
Here’s a table comparing the two streaming platforms to help you choose accordingly:
In short, ESPN+ is cheaper but NHL.tv provides the most comprehensive coverage of NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Finals.