As one of the greatest tennis events of the years got underway this year, players and fans alike are preparing themselves to be a part of action. This year’s tournament is said to be a classic stand-off between rivals. Will Rafael Nadal hold his title or will his shaky recent performances prove too much to bring home the win? Is it going to be Federer that poses the most real threat or will Djokovic reign supreme? With so many questions to be answered, all that’s left now is to watch the games and see the results for ourselves. However, this could be easier said than done for a lot of people.
Regional Live Streaming
While the French Open is aired live on TV and is supposedly readily available online to be streamed at the same time, this is not the case for many people. This is because the French National TV Channels (France 1, 2 and 3) receive full control over the coverage, picking up the organic footage from all of the courts, before passing it onto licensed networks, including online services. To make matters even worse, for the first time ever, ESPN won’t be covering the 2016 event, making it even harder to find a source to watch. While French TV have their own online streaming services, this is no help for those of us trying to watch overseas, as the content is completely geo-blocked.
What Is Geo-blocking?
Geo-blocking is an extremely common practice where online content is restricted and censored based on geographical location. In some countries, this is due to political governance and laws around information, however, for the French Open, it’s merely a matter of licensing issues. The TV channels are only legally allowed to share material in certain jurisdictions. While this is obvious in terms of television, as channel signals can only be picked up in certain places, it’s a lot harder to monitor online. To get around this, companies use your IP address—which dictates to location of your device—to block you from websites and pages that show restricted content.
Fortunately, there’s a remarkably easy way to get around this. A Virtual Private Network—regularly shortened to VPN—is something that most people have come across, but don’t really know anything about. However, this extremely handy software package is just the thing that you need in order to be able to watch the French Open, no matter where in the world you are. By simply downloading and installing it onto your computer and selecting your location as in France, or another region where to tournament is aired, you can access the online streaming sites and watch the games freely.
How Does It Work?
This works because the VPN hides your IP address dictating your device’s location. Instead, you take on the IP address of your selected VPN server by re-routing your connection to the internet via it. This means that, by choosing the right server, sites with geo-blocking restrictions can be easily fooled to think that your location falls into those who are allowed access.
Where Do I Get One?
There are endless VPNs available of varying quality, so before making your purchase, you need to decide what you’re looking for. While a free VPN is an obvious choice, the connection regularly drops out, meaning you could find yourself staring at a black screen at a crucial point in the play. They also never provide customer service, so if you have problems setting up or there are faults while it’s in use, there’s no way to resolve the issue. It’s also important that your chosen VPN offers a server in a country where the tournament is accessible. There’s no point putting money into something to find out that you’re still no closer to solving the problem. There are many detailed reviews online, so do your research before parting with your money.
The fact that the French Open is restricted in this way is disappointing. However, this simple solution means you’ll never have to miss out on the action. Once you’ve installed the app, simply log on to any of the sites streaming the tournament, and you’ll be good to go! Now all you have to decide is who you’re routing for to win.