Football is the same as any sport in that it keeps a tight grip on the right to watch its games live or stream them online. Just about every major sports league makes serious money from its audience and advertisers. Thus the league needs to control its viewership to maximize profits.
Unfortunately for football fans, this means that you often need to be in a certain geographic region to see teams play live. The same applies to viewing entire leagues from other countries. In this age of streaming and live video, leagues around the world have turned to blackout policies to prevent others from watching their games.
This is annoying if you want to watch a Ligue 1 game, especially if you access the majority of streaming and live content through the internet.
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How to Watch Ligue 1 Matches Online: Step-by-step Guide
Use the following steps to unblock Ligue 1 content:
Choose which content provider you wish to use to view the matches, such as beIN Sports or BT Sport.
Connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) server or proxy server connection (VPN servers are the preferred method) to a country where your content provider isn’t geo-restricted. Examples include the UK for BT Sports and the US for beIN Sport.
If you don’t already have access to a VPN server, sign up with one of the best VPN services for sports. Check that it hosts servers in a country that doesn’t geo-restrict the content you want to watch.
Install your VPN provider’s client and connect to the VPN server.
Open a browser or app to pull up your provider’s online content portal.
Enjoy the match!
There are many other considerations. Let’s start by looking at which sports providers are good for accessing Ligue 1.
See below for guides on how to watch other European football leagues and tournaments
How to Choose a Server and Content Provider that Provides Access to Ligue 1 Matches
The two best sources for live streams of Ligue 1 matches are beIN Sports and BT Sport. In both cases, you need to pay in order to watch the matches live. Unless you live in appropriate regions, you’ll also need to circumvent the geo-restrictions that the providers impose on the games.
If you want to connect to a UK server to unlock the games, then opt for BT Sport. However, if you’re an American or are connecting to a US VPN server to unlock the content, go for beIN Sports. It’s a good idea to connect to your VPN then run a speed test to make sure that latency isn’t too high.
If performance for the live stream isn’t adequate, you may want to try connecting to a different VPN server in another location.
There are many factors that determine which provider is best for sports. Check out the best VPNs for sports if you are trying to unblock more than just Ligue 1 content.
Ligue 1 Week 30 Schedule (All times GMT)
Friday March 16
- Monaco v Lille 19:45
Saturday March 17
- Bordeaux v Rennes 16:00
- Angers v Caen 19:00
- Montpellier v Dijon 19:00
- Amiens v Troyes 19:00
- Toulouse v Strasbourg 19:00
Sunday March 18
- Nice v PSG 12:00
- Metz v Nantes 14:00
- St-Etienne v Guingamp 16:00
- Marseille v Lyon 20:00
How to Decide Between Proxies and VPNs to Unblock Ligue 1 Matches
There are several ways to access Ligue 1 matches. Most of the solutions involve some sort of proxy connection. It is possible to find torrents of many sporting events (assuming it’s legal in your country to download torrents for personal use). However, this is typically undesirable, since most people want to watch the match live.
Unfortunately, Ligue 1 has been cracking down on foreign streaming services in order to protect its content. To circumvent these restrictions, you’re going to need a proxy connection or a VPN connection. This will need to be on either the device that’s accessing the content (like a PC) or a network device (such as your wireless router).
Most consumer-grade wireless routers can’t connect to a VPN server. You will probably have to upgrade the firmware on your router with code capable of establishing a VPN connection, such as DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. You can download and use this free of charge.
While there are free proxy servers available online, it is generally inadvisable to use these. For starters, you don’t always know who is operating the proxy server. It could be a legitimate connection, a phishing website or a teenager tinkering around with technology. Additionally, proxy server connections don’t offer security, since they don’t encrypt your data. If other sensitive data flowed through the proxy connection while you were streaming a match, you could easily become the victim of identity theft, loss of privacy or data loss.
Virtual Private Networks
It’s much better to use a VPN tunnel. VPNs encrypt connections to prevent third parties from reading your data. Even if a hacker or data thief intercepts your encrypted data, there’s nothing they could do to read it. While most quality VPN services charge a subscription fee, some of them cost as little as $3.25 per month. You can also check out the best free VPN services. Just make sure that the free service operates in all the countries from which you want to stream geo-restricted content.
Otherwise, I recommend checking out the best VPNs for France. All of the services in the best VPNs for France guide host servers within France that are well equipped to unblock Ligue 1. Those services also operate servers in other popular geographic regions. This makes them extremely versatile for unblocking all manner of geo-restricted content.
In summary, you can use the following methods to unblock Ligue 1 matches:
Unencrypted proxy server connections (not recommended)
VPN connections on your PC or mobile device
VPN connections on your router
How a VPN Unblocks Ligue 1
A VPN helps unblock foreign sports and streaming on-demand content, as well as censored websites. Content servers determine where a user is connecting from based on a unique identifier known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your public IP address is globally unique. IP addresses are distributed based on geographic region.
Just as an area code and telephone number links to a geographic region or country, IP addresses link to specific locations. However, when you connect to a VPN server, it masks your IP address. It encrypts the data you send and receive, meaning it can’t be read by third parties that intercept it.
The VPN server makes requests to web services and servers on behalf of your computer. As long as you connect to a VPN server in a geographic region where the content isn’t restricted (France, in the case of Ligue 1 games), you’ll be able to access geo-restricted content. The VPN server is essentially spoofing your IP address. To any content servers or webcast servers, the request for content appears to come from a local IP address.
In reality, the request is coming from your computer, wherever you may be located. Using a VPN will also help you unblock other geo-restricted content, such as foreign sporting events or streaming media. It will even help you access peer-to-peer (P2P) and BitTorrent content, provided you use a VPN provider that doesn’t restrict P2P traffic. If you would like a VPN for torrenting, check out our favorite VPN torrent clients.
Whether you’re traveling or simply live in a region where your favorite sports league isn’t available, it’s tough accessing live sporting events online. Even though on-demand streaming services are becoming ubiquitous, geo-restrictions still inhibit our ability to access content easily.
Using a VPN is a great way to circumvent geo-restrictions. Without a VPN, sensitive data could be routed through a proxy unprotected. The vast majority of paid subscriptions come with a free trial or money-back guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a service you don’t like.