Unlocator, a popular VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, is offering 50 percent off to baseball fans looking to skirt MLB TV’s blackout rules.
People have employed VPNs (such as Unlocator) for years to watch their home teams on MLB TV, a streaming package which is supposed to only include out-of-market games. (The 2022 MLB TV plan is now available for $129.99 for a limited time.) The VPN can change the subscriber’s IP address so MLB TV’s servers think he or she is based in a different market or even outside the country. This allows you to watch the home team’s games with MLB TV as well as the games based in other areas.
Until now, some fans have refrained from using a VPN because of a perception that the league’s terms of agreement stated it was illegal and could lead to you being prosecuted or sued. But anxiety over VPN use could subside this year after the league confided to the TV Answer Man that it has never sued or prosecuted anyone for using a VPN to watch MLB TV.
In addition, a MLB spokesman said the league has no comment on whether it approves or disapproves of the use of VPNs to watch MLB TV although the terms of agreement do say you can not “attempt to circumvent any blackout restriction.”
Unlocator apparently believes that many fans are ready to give a VPN a try. In an e-mail sent today to prospective subscribers, the service says:
“Finally we can look forward to opening day right around the corner. Spring training is already in action but so are the blackouts. Unlocator allows you to stream games from MLB.TV without being subject to blackouts. Regardless of location.”
By inputting the Unlocator discount code, MLB2022, at checkout, you can reduce Unlocator’s monthly base price of $4.95 to $2.48 a month. The service, which is based in Denmark, also offers a variety of other plan options including one with a Smart DNS (Domain Name System) and VPN combined and one with just the Smart DNS. The DNS/VPN combined offering, which is $9.99 a month before the discount code, purports to provide more protection against corporate and individual snooping.
Unlocator says that once you subscribe, it will send you instructions on how to reconfigure your device so it will mask your location to make it look like you are not in your home market. For example, if you live in Cleveland, Unlocator can change your IP address so the MLB TV server will think you are in Denmark. Then you can watch the Cleveland Guardians games on MLB TV which normally would be blacked out in your market.
Unlocator says its software can be used on more than 50 devices and platforms, including Windows, iOS devices, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, Google TV, Sharp Smart TV, Toshiba Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Sony Smart TV, Panasonic Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U, Apple TV and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Editor’s Note: The TV Answer Man cannot vouch for Unlocator’s performance or reliability nor provide legal advice regarding its use.
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— Phillip Swann