Where to stream the FA Cup online
Since the FA Challenge Cup, aka The Emirates FA Cup, is a domestic tournament, your ultimate destination for the full coverage is either BBC One and BT Sport. The latter is TV channel 414 on Sky digital boxes.
For the remaining semi-finals, BT Sport retains the rights to broadcast the Chelsea vs Southampton game while BBC airs the Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur match.
The good news is you can stream the games for free via BBC iPlayer and BT Sport’s online platforms. Both come as web and mobile apps, so you can stream the remaining draws on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, smart TV, as well as PlayStation 3 and 4, and Xbox One.
Please, note: you still need a valid TV license to stream or record live matches. In the UK, it’s a criminal offense to stream live programs without a license, irrespective of the device you use.
To make sure you don’t miss out on the clash of the four FA Cup titans wherever in the world you are, check out the list of official broadcasters in other countries:
Alas, a wealth of top-tier streamers flat out ignore the FA Cup, including such giants as beIN Sports, Viasat, ESPN 2 LatAm, and Canal+ Sport. As a result, a whole lot of British expats are locked out of some of the most spectacular matches of the year.
Why use a VPN to stream the FA Cup
Not helping is the fact that each licensed broadcaster is restricted to its country – BBC and BT Sports to the UK, NBC Sports to the USA, TSN4 to Canada, you get the point. If you are an FA Cup fan outside the UK, missing out on your favorite sports events due to geo-blocks is beyond aggravating.
Enter a VPN. A quick, legal and elegant fix to your geo block woes, a Virtual Private Network gets you past the geo-restrictions. It unblocks your BBC iPlayer, wherever in the world you happen to be.
Here is the gist of a VPN, in layman’s terms: a VPN provider runs a slew of servers across the world. When you connect to one of its servers, it emulates your location in the country where it’s hosted.
If you connect to a server located in the UK, it assigns you a UK Internet Protocol (IP) address. And with a UK IP address, all doors are open as far as BBC and BT Sports are concerned. You can stream your FA Cup matches live online or watch the replays, if available.
Since a VPN encrypts your traffic, you get an extra layer of privacy and security protection, and here is why it’s important:
- Your traffic is private – typically, your Internet Service Provider logs your browsing activity top to bottom. With a VPN, it doesn’t see what you’re up to online except for the amount of data you consume.
- Your traffic is secured – encrypted traffic is useless to hackers setting up honeypots or Man-in-the-Middle attacks on open WiFi networks.
- Your traffic is not restricted by firewalls or censorship – a VPN lets you bypass school, office or government-imposed firewalls. Think beyond sports streaming. With a VPN, you can unblock region-restricted Steam or iTunes games, dissident forums censored in your area, or digital services and platforms blocked in your country for arbitrary reasons.
How to stream the FA Cup with a VPN
- Get a subscription with one of the reputable VPN providers. Check my VPN suggestions below.
- Install the VPN client provided by your VPN service and log in.
- Locate the list of servers and connect to a server in the UK. If possible, pick a server that’s closest to where you are as the proximity will enhance your connection speed.
- Launch your BBC iPlayer app or open your browser and go to the provider’s website. You might want to clean your browser’s cache and cookies from previous sessions to avoid leaking your real location.
- Log in to your BBC account and stream the FU Cup live as if you were in the UK.
While a freemium VPN from the likes of Hola sounds tempting, using such services is generally considered a bad idea. The reason is simple – free VPNs log your browsing activities. They may share your data with data brokers, ad agencies, and copyright trolls to monetize their services. Since the UK authorities are cracking down on Kodi users streaming Premier League, you’re better safe with a VPN than sorry with a hefty fine on your hands.
Best VPNs to stream the FA Cup
The above VPN providers also made it to my list of the Best VPNs for BBC iPlayer, boasting a successful track record of unblocking the UK streaming services. Hopefully, this guide helps you set up your FA Cup live-streaming just in time for the semi-finals.
- More US city locations than its rivals
- Includes malware protection
- No-logs policy
- No limit on the number of devices you can connect at the same time
- SOCKS5 proxy, which its main rivals don’t have
- More VPN servers in more US cities to dodge blackouts
- The cell phone app worked seamlessly
- Customer service seemed genuinely interested in helping
- 24/7 Live Chat
- Over 200 servers in 80+ countries
- Sleek, easy to use UI
- Customer support via email, Skype, and ticketing