Wrapped in luxury and boasting the world’s most renowned tennis champions, the iconic grand slam is certainly classy. Traditionally hosted by the Stade Roland-Garros with its signature ocher flooring (that’s not exactly clay but crushed bricks), the French Open is one of the most physically demanding tournaments in tennis with some of the most passionate fan bases across the world. This season features the men’s and women’s singles and doubles strongest contenders of our time. 

U.S. Viewers

NBC has been traditionally the main broadcaster of the French Open in the U.S. since 1983. Airing weekend morning matches in the afternoon via tape delay, lets you enjoy your big-screen-worthy matches at social times. It’s also available as a mobile NBC Sports Live app for Android, iOS, Roku, and Amazon Fire tablets. Tennis Channel covers all the matches live, without tape delay, though. Both are subscription-based channels.

Alternatively, you can stream it live via any of the U.S. streamers that include NBC on their list of covered channels, such as Sling TV, FuboTV, DirecTV Now, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

It’s worth mentioning Hulu TV and YouTube TV are restricted to select US regions, so it may not be the best option if you’re buying your first streaming subscription.

UK Viewers

In the UK, you can tune in on Eurosport, although this year, it’s not the exclusive broadcaster of the French Open.

ITV Sport airs some of the matches for free via ITV1, ITV2, and ITV4. However, ITV’s contract with Roland Garros has already expired. The daily coverage is mostly aired on ITV4 but singles finals are shown on ITV1.

French Viewers

Eurosport 1 and 2, as well as FranceTV, hold the broadcast rights to the Roland Garros in France, and the best part is you can watch the tournaments for free. So in case you’re out of paid subscription options, and have access to French television, you can stream your French Open for free, but with French commentary.

Worldwide Viewers

In Europe, you can stream the French Open with Eurosport, while LatAm and Caribbean regions can rely on ESPN for coverage. The Middle East region will enjoy live French Open coverage from beIN Sports while Australia can watch it on Fox Sports and SBS Sport.

The thing is, you can’t stream the French Open via any of these channels if you are outside of their respective coverage zones (France for FranceTV, the UK for ITV, EU for Eurosport, and the US for NBC or SlingTV, etc.)

Due to the broadcasting rights, these channels only stream the French Open in select countries. If you visit ITV from outside the UK, you’ll get the message saying “This video is unavailable in your region” or something along the lines.

Streaming providers determine your IP address based on your physical location. If your IP belongs to the white-list of the allowed range of IPs (and you are physically in the covered country), you’re good to stream. Otherwise, you’re locked out even if you have a valid paid subscription.

A well-known secret to unlocking geo-restricted content is with a Virtual Private Network. A VPN is, in essence, a security tool which allows you to emulate your location in pretty much any country in the world.

Although I don’t think you can find a VPN provider that has servers in each and every country, many well-established companies have wide networks. Better yet, most VPN providers cover all the major countries that allow you to stream Roland Garros for free.

When you connect to a VPN server, it assigns you its Internet Protocol (IP) address, so you’re browsing with the VPN server’s IP address, not yours. Connect to a UK VPN server, and browse as an English Internet user. Connect to a French server, and appear as if coming from France. Capice?

Live streaming the French Open aside, VPNs offer other no-nonsense benefits:

  • Encryption – since a VPN encrypts your traffic, it hides your browsing activities and sensitive data from both your snooping Internet Service Provider (ISP) and hackers.
  • No throttling – ISPs most certainly throttle, or limit, your data when you torrent, stream or play online. Since a VPN hides your traffic from your ISP in its secure VPN tunnel, it bypasses the ISP’s throttling rule. Many people use VPNs to route all their traffic not only when they travel, but when they use their Internet from home.
  • No firewalls – a VPN allows you to bypass your school-, office- or country-imposed firewalls and access content that’s censored in your location due to various reasons. With a VPN, you can stream US Netflix or UK BBC iPlayer, buy Steam Early Access games, or chat on dissident forums
  • Location independence – a VPN allows expats, tourists, and digital nomads to use their streaming services, and access their news sites, and other geo-restricted services irrespective of their location.
  1. Choose a VPN provider and subscribe to one of its plans.
  2. Download and install its VPN software, launch it and log in.
  3. Find the servers list, and choose a server located in the country in which you need to spoof (UK for ITV, France for FranceTV, USA for NBC, you get the idea).
  4. Connect to the server. Open a clean instance of your browser, with the cache from the previous sessions deleted.
  5. Go to your streaming provider’s website or app and log in.
  6. You should be able to live stream the French Open now.

Note: Beware of “free” VPNs such as Betternet or Hola, because they log your browsing activity and personal data to monetize it by selling it to data brokers, which is probably the best case scenario if compared to data sharing with surveillance agencies.

If you want the best experience while live streaming the French Open, you might want to go with a short-term monthly plan first and test if a VPN unlocks your sports streaming sites consistently without leaking your real location. When you’re certain it gets the job done, you can get pretty good long-term deals.


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