How to Watch March Madness
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start by going to the NCAA website. If you're located in the US; you will have access
- If not located in the US, then setup a VPN account
- Then download and install the VPN onto the device(s) you want to watch March Madness on
- Open the VPN software and connect to a US-based server location
- Once connected, return to the NCAA website and you will be able to watch March Madness from outside the US
How to watch March Madness in more detail:
I have lived in the UK a fair while now and despite being born and raised a New Yorker, I almost feel more British than American now. I have adapted to most of weird cultural things I used to laugh at over here. I can understand the accents pretty well. I don’t mind a pint of warm beer now and again. And the teeth thing… well that’s best left to one side for now.
But the one thing I still don’t get is British sport. I have been to at least 5 cricket games, and still don’t have the first idea what’s going on. Soccer? My first two games were both 0-0 draws. What sort of sport has no goals in an entire game? I quite like the darts, but that was more for the drinking than the sporting spectacle.
I pine for US Sports, particularly Basketball. Being from NYC I love the Knicks, but I am also mad keen on College Basketball and particularly my old Alma Mater, Harvard. Problem is, they just don’t show basketball on the TV here. It’s almost impossible to find an NBA game, never mind the NCAA.
I desperately wanted to watch March Madness a few years back and was scouring the internet to find some dodgy feed to see it. Then I came across this site, which explained how a VPN could be used to get around geo-blocked content. Suddenly my eyes were opened, and the world of NCAA Basketball and the March Madness was mine to enjoy.
Why is March Madness not Available overseas?
The reason I cannot watch March Madness in the UK is all down to rights issues. The NCAA makes a lot of money by selling the broadcasting rights to March Madness. It does this on a country-by-country basis, so different channels and website can have the rights to show the games in different countries.
This means that the coverage in the US has to be limited to viewers in the US in order to protect the broadcast rights on those other countries. For this reason, the games which can be viewed on the NCAA website, or one of their associated apps, are only available in the USA, and here in the UK (and indeed anywhere else) they will not work.
And to ensure they do not work, the NCAA uses something known as geo-blocking.
How is March Madness Blocking Access overseas?
Geo-blocking is a pretty straightforward piece of technology. It works by reading the IP Address of every user that’s visits a site.
The IP Address is a unique set of data which every internet user transmits to every site they visit. It contains various bits of information including where they are located.
So if the NCAA website is informed that you are located outside the USA, it will automatically block you from viewing restricted content on that site.
The only way to get around this geo-blocking is to fool the site that you are in fact in the USA when you are not. And the best way to do this is by using a VPN.
A VPN will divert your online activity via an external server located overseas. It is the IP Address of this server rather than your device that the website receives, so if the server is located in the USA, the NCAA website will think you are too, and you will able to enjoy all their content.
If you want to know how exactly it is done, just keep reading.
How to Use a VPN to Watch March Madness
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
So first you will need to visit the VPNs website. For this article I am using ExpressVPN to demonstrate. So just click on one of the links on this page to visit their site and once there you will be able to choose which of their subscription packages best suits your needs.
Click on your choice and you will be diverted to their payments page, where you can pay using a variety of different methods. Don’t worry. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.
Once your payment is done, ExpressVPN will send you an email with a link. Click on this link to activate your account.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Then you will need to download and install the ExpressVPN software. You can do this really easily by picking your operating system from the menu you can see below, and clicking on the link.
All you need to do is follow the simple onscreen instructions and the software will be downloaded onto your device.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
Finally, you will need to connect to a US-based server. To do this simply navigate ExpressVPNs user friendly interface and pick your preferred server. Generally speaking, it is better to pick East Coast if you live in Europe like I do, and West Coast if you are in Asia or Australia because speeds will be slightly better.
Click on your chosen server and wait a few moments while ExpressVPN connects you.
Once you are connected, you should be able to log into and use the NCAA website just as you would do in the USA, and this includes watching as many of the NCAA games as you would like.
It really is that simple and for me it saved me from the endless hours of football that fill TV screen here in the UK. Being able to watch March Madness was also a big social boost as I had fellow Americans and indeed a fair few Brits round to my house all the time to enjoy the games.
Feel free to let me know any comments or questions you may have on this process using the box below. It is always good to hear people’s views on my guides.
And if you are not keen on ExpressVPN, there are a lot of other VPNs you can choose from. Above you will find my pick of the Top 5 VPNs to effectively solve how to watch March Madness. Enjoy!