Baseball is by far one of the most-watched and most-played sports in Japan. Puro Yakyū, or the Nippon Professional League, is the highest baseball league in the country consisting of the Central and the Pacific Leagues, each made of six teams. When the winners of both leagues lock horns in a national match, the Battle of the Beasts, the national obsession reaches its highest point.
The NPB 2019 is the league’s 70th season that’ll kick off on March 29, 2019. Since each season consists of 144 games, it is high time for all of you NPB fans to set up your live streams and enjoy your favorite game – no matter where you are.
Where to stream Nippon Professional Baseball games online
Fuji TV holds the broadcast rights to air the Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan. Internationally, it leases three US channels – Channel 26 in San Francisco, California KTSF, Channel 63 in New York WMBC-TV, and in Honolulu – Nippon Golden Network.
Also, DAZN Japan has recently acquired the whole roster of SoftBank’s sporting rights. So from now on, the Nippon Baseball League will be broadcast by DAZN Japan.
If you speak Japanese, check out some more NPB live streaming options:
- Fujitv.live is your best shot at streaming the Nippon Professional Baseball live and with a DVR option. It offers a 24-hour free trial, after which you can choose from a variety of subscriptions starting at $27.99/mo.
- Pacific League TV – paid service providing live streams of Pacific League teams and archived games. Rumor has it this streamer should be available outside of Japan.
- Sports Navi by Softbank covers all NPB teams except Yomiuri. No on-demand archived streams are available, and the streamer is locked to Japan only. Also, the streaming service was discontinued because SoftBank sold the rights to DAZN.
- Toratele (subscription-based) offers live streams of Hanshin Tigers games on PC and mobile apps.
- AbemaTV streams highlights of the Yokohama DeNA Baystars home games.
- RCC Broadcasting streams the Hiroshima Carp games, but no archived games are available.
Internationally, NPB is not represented by major streaming providers, alas. You could try your luck running a YouTube search by your team title – a live stream may be occasionally available. Also, sites like Konan Sports, YakuLive, and Keylabo may – or may not – offer live streams.
Why use a VPN to stream Nippon Professional Baseball
As you can see, the JPB fans outside of Japan are left to their own devices looking for shady live streams that provide no guarantee of consistent live streams of all NPB games.
Not helping are geo-blocks that prevent anyone from outside of Japan from accessing the NPB streams. If you are a paid subscriber to one of the official NPB broadcasters, you can suddenly find yourself locked out of your premium content if you travel abroad.
If you are on a short trip, this may not be much of a problem. But what if you are an expat, an exchange student, or a digital nomad? Unless Fujitv.live is available in your region, live streaming NPB is a struggle.
Moreover, you can be in Japan and still face an unexpected streaming block – the one put in place by your school or employer. Schools and offices often block sports and movie streaming services on their premises. They also tend to block most online gaming servers and social networks, so you end up being limited to a very lackluster segment of the Internet. And if you spend most of your time at school or in the office, you could be missing out on quite a few NPB League games.
Fix your streaming woes with a Virtual Private Network. A VPN is an online service that runs – or leases – servers across the world. Primarily a security tool, a VPN allows you to connect to a server in the country of your choice. Once connected, the VPN server assigns you an IP address in that country.
All you need to bypass the streaming geo-blocks is to connect to a Japanese VPN server. With a Japanese IP address, you appear as a regular user connecting from the national territory. As a result, your streaming provider lifts its geo-block, and you can stream the NPB games live or on-demand.
Moreover, since a VPN encrypts your traffic, it provides a wealth of security benefits:
- Your sensitive data is encrypted
- Your snooping Internet Service Provider can’t monitor your online activities
- Your traffic is secured against honeypots and Man-in-the-Middle attacks
- You can bypass your ISP-imposed throttling when streaming or gaming online
- You can circumvent local and state-imposed firewalls and censorship
- A VPN allows you to unlock a wealth of sports and TV shows streaming services
How to live-stream the NPB League with a VPN
- Subscribe to the VPN of your choice. If in doubt, check out my suggestions below.
- Download the VPN app from the provider’s website and install it on your device or router.
- Connect to a VPN server in Japan.
- Clean your browser’s cache and open a new instance of it.
- Head over to your streamer’s portal and log in.
- You should be able to stream the Nippon Professional Baseball League games now.
Please, note: Unlocking DAZN with a VPN might be a problem. It is cracking down on VPNs even harder than Netflix. If you plan to unlock DAZN, make sure you try your VPN first to see if bypasses the streamer’s geo-block.
Best VPNs for streaming Nippon Professional Baseball live online
Japan may not be the most popular of countries for VPN providers to host a gazillion of servers. But large VPNs like NordVPN offer ample coverage of the area. At the same time, smaller VPNs like Hide.me may have better speed and bandwidth because their servers aren’t as congested at peak hours as the servers of uber-popular VPNs. Hope this brief guide helps you set up your live stream just in time for the next NPB game.
Our top pick!
- Always evades internet control in the PRC
- Keeps ahead of the Netflix VPN detection algorithm
- Benchmark tests show excellent speed
- More US city locations than its rivals
- Includes malware protection
- No-logs policy
- Precise locations
- Very large VPN server network
- Offers a 45-day money-back guarantee
- 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
- Lifetime free plan available
- Port forwarding available
- Certified zero logs