How to Watch Sky Sports in USA 2018

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Updated: ​January 1st, 2018
**This Solution STILL WORKS to Unblock Sky Sports in USA**

Go through the steps below to get Sky Sport in USA right now:

  1. Start with setting up a VPN account
  2. Next download and install the VPN software to the device you will watch Sky Sports in USA from
  3. Open the software then connect to a UK-based server location
  4. Login to your Sky Sports account or create an account if you have not done so already
  5. Enjoy Sky Sports in the USA

Time to complete these steps: 4 Minutes


The VPN I recommend using for this is ExpressVPN. Check it out here.


How to watch Sky Sports in USA in more detail:


Being a UK-born and raised kid, I was always in front of the TV with my dad on Sundays catching up on all the sports of the week he missed. Sky was the channel of choice for basically the entire day (much to my mum's dismay!), To say Sky Sports is a channel close to my heart is an understatement. 

So to when I moved to the US for work last year, I took as many home comforts as I could to keep any home-sickness pangs at bay as much as possible. Thus, on the very first lazy Sunday I had once I was all setup in my NYC apartment, I went ahead and opened up my laptop to login to my beloved online Sky Sports account and catch up like always. 

However, this time was not like any time before, because upon trying to access Sky Sports I was immediately denied and told that Sky Sports was not available in my location. Got this Sky error 288 thing. I was devastated! 

how to watch sky sports in USA

Yup, it just so happens that even Sky Sports' online streaming does not allow quite a lot of their videos to be streamed in the USA. I was not expecting this, so was in no mood to be defeated. It was time to find a solution!

And find a solution I did. Thus, to help anyone else out there who also wants to know how to watch Sky Sports in USA without any restrictions, I decided to put together a quick guide of the solution I figured out.
 


Why is Sky Sports Not Available in USA?

So the first thing I looked into for this issue was why Sky Sports was blocking USA access to certain content on their service, as I figured this would help me find the best solution. 

It took a little searching, but I discovered that the blocks on content come from the licensing rights that Sky Sports acquire for each sporting event they offer users access to on the service. You see, in order to offer each piece of content, Sky Sports have to physically purchase licensing rights to do so, every time. 

These licensing rights are also only purchased individually for each country. So when Sky Sports offer a stream to users accessing the service from multiple countries, this means that Sky Sports have purchased licensing rights for each and every one of those countries. 

Thus, when you try to get Sky Sport USA unblocked but are not granted access, this means that Sky Sports did not acquire licensing rights to let users in the USA watch that specific stream. This process of licensing rights issue is the same reason that many other online streaming services are restricted around the globe. Such other common (frustrating!) examples of media streaming services being blocked include BBC iPlayer in USA and Eurosport in USA.


How is Sky Sports Blocking Access in USA?

Understanding the reason why you get blocked or shown that sky error 288 was one thing, but now it was time to get to the bottom of how, like, technically, Sky Sports was implementing the content blocks on their service. 

After researching other media streaming providers and how such services employ blocks like Sky Sports do, I quickly discovered that a process known as "geo-blocking" was being used. 

This process acts essentially like a cat flap on Sky Sports service. So for example, if you try to access a video on Sky Sports and you're located in the UK at that moment -- plus -- the video has only been licensed to be offered to users in the UK; you will get access instantly. However, if you are located in the US at that same moment and try to access the very same video stream; you will be denied and presented with the "sorry" text. I.e. the cat flap will not open for you.

This "cat flap" process of geo-blocking works by checking the IP address of every user the moment they arrive on the website. From each user's current IP address, their physical location is determined and used to allow or prevent access to Sky Sports' content appropriately.

Realising how this works helped me to decide on the best solution that would work most securely and effectively. I set to research the various ways one can change their IP address to make their location "appear" in whatever location they need to "appear" within to get access to the Sky Sports content that's blocked. 

After checking out all the options of SmartDNS/Proxy/etc, I determined the most beneficial and sophisticated approach to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

I won't bore you with the ins and outs of how a VPN works. The most important functionality of a VPN for this solution in particular is that this software allows you to fully control the IP address of whatever device you might be using to access the internet (i.e. your smartphone, laptop, iPad, smartTV, etc.) 

This is feature that you want, since you will want to change your device IP address to a UK-based location, as this will make you "appear" inside the UK to Sky Sports when you next access the service. 

There are a lot of VPN providers around, so I personally reviewed the most reputable ones and settled on ExpressVPN for this solution. So I will reference it as the example while I walk through the setup steps below.


How to Use a VPN to Watch Sky Sports USA

Step 1: Sign up for VPN

Head over to ExpressVPN's website and choose the plan that best fits your budget and needs. You'll then be prompted to choose a payment method. Once you've done this, confirm your new account details via email. 

What's great about ExpressVPN, and 99% of VPN providers, is that when you first join you get 30 days essentially free (money back guarantee) if you don't like the service. 

express 3 month deal


They have a nice, simple website layout that makes it simple and quick to get your account setup with them.

On the pricing plans page you will want to choose a plan to suits your personal budget/commitment preference and then confirm your account. 

Upon confirming account details, you will see a link to the download area in that email. Click on it and you'll be automatically directed there to download the VPN software...


Step 2: Download & Install VPN

In the download are you'll see that there are individual download links specifically for whatever device(s) you plan to use the VPN on. So for me, I like to watch Sky Sports on both my Macbook and Android smartphone. 

This meant downloading the OS X software, which was automatically highlighted by ExpressVPN for me. Then on my Android device I went to the Google Play Store and downloaded+installed the dedicated app thereon:

expressvpn_download


Installing is as simple as any software install. Simply open the downloaded file then follow the few steps as guided. This whole installation process takes literally a few seconds. 

​With the software installed on your device, you will then be asked if you want to launch the VPN right away. Do this, and you'll be ready to move onto the next step in the process...

Step 3: Connect to UK-based Server on VPN

Now comes the all important step in the process. Go ahead and open up the VPN software once it's installed, then you will be asked to select a location to connect to the VPN through. 

Here's where you will be choosing what your IP address will change to, so select a UK-based server location and hit "Connect". 

​To give you an idea of how the software actually looks on your devices, I went ahead and downloaded it to my Macbook and launched it. 

Check out the screenshot below to see just how simple and untechnical it is to use:

expressvpn_main

Pretty easy, right? You just choose one of the many UK-based server locations they have listed, then click connect. Wait a few moments, then you are successfully on a UK-based server; with your device's IP address now showing your location as within Britain. Awesome! 

What's also great about using ExpressVPN for this is how much work they put in to making their software easy to use regardless of what device you want to use it on. 

For example, I also wanted to get Sky Sport USA unblocked on my Android smartphone. All I needed to do was go to the Google Play Store and download + install the app from there. Easy.

Here is how the connection process looks on my actual Android device: 

unblock whatsapp expressvpn app 6
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express_vpn_android_app4


Step 4: Setup Sky Sports Account

Once you've connected to the VPN on a UK-based server, you will have successfully changed your IP address to reflect this. Good job! 

Now, when you head to the Sky Sports website and choose to watch that video that was just minutes ago totally blocked to you because of your USA location -- you will have full access. No more sky error 288!

You may need to create a Sky Sports account at this point to sign into the service, depending on the media you want to watch. This is simply a case of filling in some general info; takes just a second. 


Conclusion

Thus concludes a super quick step-by-step guide on how to watch Sky Sports in USA locations in less than 5 minutes. I hope you found the guide useful, and if you went through the steps as laid out you are now enjoying a completely unblocked and accessible Sky Sports from the comfort of your US location. 

As mentioned earlier in this guide, I personally reviewed many VPN service providers before settling on ExpressVPN. So to give you some more options, here are the top 4 VPN providers I found that work best to watch Sky Sports in USA locations:

It is worth mentioning that using a SmartDNS does give you the option to access Sky Sports in the USA, however the success of doing this varies wildly from each different SmartDNS service provider. 

Also, the level of privacy protection you get on your device the moment you are connected to a VPN is a great bonus to have to protect your data and online activity. A SmartDNS gives you zero encryption and thus none of your online behaviour is privacy protected. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments at all, then let me know in the comments section below and I'll be happy to help you out when I can. 

Happy Sky Sport'ing!

Summary
Article Name
How to Watch Sky Sports in USA 2018
Description
Tutorial walking through a simple solution to watch Sky Sports in USA.
Author
Chris Beattie

26 Answers

  1. Michael
    August 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Great article. I live in the USA, have set up VPN and have an account now with Sky. That said, I need to enter my credit card to access their streaming services and my CC address is not tied to a valid address for SKY. Any suggestions?

    1. Chris Beattie
      August 8, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Hi Michael, thanks for checking out the guide! Great question – You’re absolutely correct with this. It’s takes a bit more effort now but it is still possible to get a Hulu account setup outside the US. We are in the process of updating this guide to include this solution, but here is a super simple guide that a Reddit user put to explain this: https://www.reddit.com/r/cordcutters/comments/3v6vuu/subscribing_to_hulu_after_nonuscredit_card_block/ . Thanks again, Michael!

  2. Chris Beattie
    March 27, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Hey Gavin, thanks for letting us know — much appreciated! When this occurs, the best course of action is to test out some of the other quality-assured VPN providers (use they free trials available on 99% of them) and see which provider’s server list has not been flagged by Sky Sports yet. We’re checking now and will update this post accordingly. In the meantime, do let us know if you find a VPN that is allowing access to the service!

    1. Irishtoon
      March 27, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for the reply. Haven’t been able to find one and I’ve tried a few. Any other website visitors out there found one?

  3. Dan Walker
    July 20, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to put this guide together.
    I love soccer/football and watch all the EPL games (I’m American FYI).
    I want to watch the 2018 world cup next year but the American announcers are so bad, I will either have to mute the games, watch in Spanish or possibly shoot myself.
    I would live to hear/watch the games with English/UK announcers. They make the game so much better/relaxing etc..

  4. Trevor W.
    January 5, 2018 at 2:48 am

    I am not the biggest sports fan. With that said one could think that I do not care about sky​ ​sport​ ​USA. Well to be real yes to a degree. but I appreciate it though. Sports or not, this software have potential more than TV applications.

  5. Blake A.
    January 5, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Good marketing strategy!!! I say what better way to raise awareness about this than to target the basics TV. This product can do so much else.

  6. Gary
    January 5, 2018 at 3:37 am

    If in the UK people are scratching their heads on how to watch US programs ? Needless to say. it is now time to return the favor. I mean I am at the US and even I am thinking how​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​sky​ ​sports​ ​in​ ​USA? I do not know that this licensing business can be such a pain.

  7. A.W
    January 5, 2018 at 5:07 am

    With so many services blocked no wonder internet is the future of entertainment the future of everything actually. The transition starts now.

  8. Betty Riancho
    January 5, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Has any of you guys experienced sky​ ​error​ ​288 ? I would love to read an article about that since it is rare yes but it happens. When it does though it can be a pain in the rear? I hope Sky users are aware of this.

  9. Linda Becker
    January 5, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Fortunately, I can always shift to other networks so this issue does not affect me as much. This article is just for the hardcore viewers of sky. Perhaps, it just never grew on me.

  10. McMg
    January 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Not gonna lie hearing about sky​ ​sports​ ​USA is shocking to me. For one I already have a ton of sports channels on my TV. Perhaps, I did not notice the platform name but for now I will stick to the channels I know sorry to be blunt.

  11. J. Walker
    January 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Wow good sir, I do not know that voice qualities matter to these lol. On a side note we are not related are we? I am positive we are not even if we share last names.

  12. Nancy
    January 5, 2018 at 11:50 am

    This geo blocking system in place what it is exactly? A filter or more than that? In any case sky​ ​sport​ ​USA is a part of that shield so to speak. Its not a guarantee but it seems to be working well. Perhaps too well.

  13. Osman T.
    January 5, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Sorry to say this but I may just stick to online steaming either live or a bit delayed is fine. The reason being is I am not familiar with the platform since there are so many alternatives I can turn to ESPN for one. At the end, it is just like news. The only changes are the delivery but the content is the same.

  14. Nara Bradshaw
    January 6, 2018 at 9:42 am

    How deep is this neo blocking got into? We may never know due to these companies does not reveal secrets. However, it is a blessing that articles like these exist. In particular on the matter of how​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​sky​ ​sports​ ​in​ ​USA. Very informative. Thank you.

  15. Daphnie H.
    January 6, 2018 at 11:53 am

    How long is this network been established? IT will be hard to penetrate the market with so many channels catering on the same niche. Well, good luck to Sky I guess.

  16. Isabella
    January 6, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for mentioning the infamous sky​ ​error​ ​288. it is a relief to know that the problem was not me or my unit but rather thw blocking dynamic. Feeling relieved.

  17. Rita
    January 6, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    the way I see it the more versions we have of this the better. Patents and Licensing made it possible for sky​ ​sports​ ​USA to be operational. Sure it is still blocked in some parts but it is part of business.

  18. Kitty F.
    January 6, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    it is all about money. companies wanna gain profits for whatever show or product they put up and sky​ ​sport​ ​USA is no exception but to me they must draw the line between protecting their platform and just flat out blocking everything. That could back fire in the long run.

  19. Lorris
    January 6, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    This ladies and gents is how​ ​to​ ​watch​ ​sky​ ​sports​ ​in​ ​USA. I like how detailed and in depth the author went into this. I do not have sky but I can suggest this to those who may need it.

  20. Nathan Alford
    January 6, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    I wish we have an in depth discussion about sky​ ​error​ ​288. I do not use sky but even I am interested on that error. I imagine customers of these platform is pissed to high hell because of it.

  21. Borges. L.
    January 7, 2018 at 12:09 am

    I wonder if the block is just affecting sky​ ​sports​ ​USA? I do not think that it has a German version or what not but. I will check my TV later ans see. Or is that a streaming exclusive?

  22. Amanda Peak
    January 7, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Platforms are popping up often these days. I would love to see movie sites not just sports if that is okay. Anyway I hope this software can be use in more ways not just sports.

  23. C. Plummer
    January 7, 2018 at 12:58 am

    I never been to UK before but it is part of my bucket list. On a side note I already had express at home and I agree it is by far the best in my opinion.

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