By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I read your articles about using a VPN to beat the baseball blackouts. Do you know if it really works? Do you know anyone who is using one to beat the blackout in his area using MLB TV? Please expand on this topic. — Joel, Manhattan Beach, California. 

Joel, a Virtual Private Network, known as a VPN, can beat baseball’s blackouts. The software, which you download from a VPN service and then add to your home modem and/or streaming device, will shield your location from the MLB TV servers. This enables you to watch your in-market team on MLB TV because the system thinks you are living somewhere else. (Normally, MLB TV blackouts your home team or teams.)

While MLB TV is costly ($149 for the season), it’s cheaper than paying for six months of a cable or satellite TV service, or a live streamer such as DIRECTV Stream or FuboTV.

There have been a number of questions over the years regarding whether the use of VPN to skirt blackouts is legal or ethical. But as I pointed out in one recent article, MLB says it has no position on the use of VPNs and it has never sued anyone or taken criminal action against anyone who has used one. The league is not openly encouraging you to use a VPN, but neither is it openly telling you NOT to use one.

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But does a VPN really work when trying to avoid a blackout of your home team?

Since MLB’s opening day last Thursday, numerous fans have taken to social media sites, such as Twitter, to boast that they are watching their home teams with a VPN. And, for the most part, they are saying the software is working as intended. Here are some of the more interesting comments:

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann