What are the NHL Blackouts in the US and how can I remove them?

A lot has changed this year in the NHL for customers in the US. Not only has a new team emerged in the form of the Seattle Kraken but the NHL has decided to pull the plug on NHL.tv in the US. Instead, they’ve struck a 7-year broadcasting deal with ESPN. This means out-of-market games have moved from the NHL’s own streaming platform to ESPN+. As usual, blackout restrictions apply to these streaming services. In this post today I’m going to tell you all you need to know about the NHL blackout in the US and how you can remove them by using the StreamLocator Hub.

Why are there NHL Blackouts in the US?

Blackouts in the US are put in place to make customers purchase expensive cable packages. They do this by blacking out the team you want to watch. This in turn forces you to pay expensive cable packages to be able to watch your local teams games.

What is the NHL blackout policy in the US and how do they blackout a game in my area?

NHL games on ESPN+, NHL LIVE (Canada) and NHL.TV (Canada) may be subject to blackouts, as further summarized below. For further information on how blackouts affect Canadian NHL fans please see my other article here. Blackouts are always enforced according to the current location of the IP address from which you are accessing the stream. For any games that are blacked out from the applicable streaming service, after 48 hours the full length game replays will be available in the game archive.

The way the NHL blackouts work in the US is your local team from your state is the one that is blacked out. This, unfortunately, does include some states that don’t have an NHL team for example Utah can still be blacked out from close by teams like Colorado Avalanche and Las Vegas Golden Knights. The best way to see if your location is affected by any NHL blackout is by using here.

So how do these blackouts work?

By using your devices IP address ESPN+ can see exactly where you are located. They then block access to games that are being broadcast in your local area using this information. This will try and force you to purchase an expensive cable TV package to watch the game you want to watch.

So is there a way for me to bypass NHL blackouts?

Luckily yes! Using a device like the StreamLocator Hub with your ESPN+ the StreamLocator portal gives you the option of changing your region like the photo below:

So for example if you live in New York and you are blacked out from the Islanders game, Just select the ESPN+ switcher to US West as shown above and you will gain access to every Islanders and Rangers game!

The Step by Step guide to bypassing NHL US Blackouts:

Step 1: Purchase a StreamLocator Hub:

Rather than relying on VPN services, which make your streaming more complicated for you to install and use, we suggest ordering a StreamLocator Hub. StreamLocator provides access to many sports services including DAZN US, CA and Germany, NHL Live, MLB TV and EPSN +. This altogether gets you every MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL game without any blackouts or restrictions for a fraction of the price of cable TV. StreamLocator is also a better alternative than a VPN as the StreamLocator Hub does not slow down your internet speed when streaming. Low latency and fast download speeds are especially important for streaming live sports!

Step 2: Connecting your devices

Once receiving the StreamLocator Hub, you can set up and connect your devices to the “StreamLocator” WiFi network. After connecting, sign in to your StreamLocator account from there you should be able to see the relocation settings for TSN and Sportsnet now. If you’re using these platforms make sure you choose a location outside your area. NHL Live is automatically relocated for you so you do not need to change location.

Step 3: Install the EPSN+ app for your devices

Once you have chosen your choice of service for watching the NHL in the US you can install the app you need on streaming devices like your Fire TV, Apple TV, Smart TV or mobile devices such as Android/iOS phones and tablets.

Ask our experts at support@streamlocator.com for instructions for your devices.

Step 4: Sign up for EPSN+

After connecting your devices to the StreamLocator wifi network, visit ESPN+ here. ESPN+ is only $6.99 per month and you can gain access to every NHL game since ESPN+ licenced every NHL game online. All you need to do once you have signed up to ESPN+ using your credit card is use your StreamLocator to switch from the US West or US East to unblock your local team.

Step 5: Watch the NHL without any NHL blackouts in the US!

The StreamLocator Hub allows you to access every single NHL game throughout the season without having to worry about the NHL Blackouts in the US. By signing up for the StreamLocator subscription service, you will be able to watch everything available to EPSN+ with ease.

Well, there you go! Hopefully, by now you will have an understanding of what are NHL blackouts are in the US and how you can get around them with the StreamLocator Hub.