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How to Play the BBC iPlayer Outside the UK


How many times have you been on the BBC Sport or ITV Football website and you’ve been intrigued by a video that the publisher is promoting only to find out that a rights restriction message pops up when you try to play it? It’s frustrating especially given that BBC Sport began preventing international visitors from even watching post-match football manager videos. And then, of course, there’s all the fantastic programming available from the Beeb and others.

The same issue applies to international visitors outside the United States who try to access Hulu. While Hulu has very little soccer content, at least the international visitors know how we feel. Plus, the shiny interface of BBC iPlayer is so inviting yet so evil because most of the content can’t be played for readers like us.

Thankfully there’s a solution in dire cases when you need to play content from BBC iPlayer or the ITV Football site (for the Bobby Robson tribute documentary, for example). Read the following article to try one of two solutions to see which one can work for you. Good luck!

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  1. Jon

    August 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    None of these solutions really work. The broadcasters have gotten around the VPN solution and it doesnt work and have you tried using proxy servers?? They are S-L-O-W

  2. Stephen

    August 25, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Better still, go to and download their HDi player. It’s free, legal and streams BBC 1 and ITV 1 (in HD) as well as other UK and foreign stations and can be viewed in the US without a proxy.

  3. The Gaffer

    August 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Raider Rich and others, the topic of this thread is the BBC iPlayer and not WSD. If you want to discuss WSD, I encourage you to go elsewhere. Raider Rich, especially, please cease the comments about semitism and anti-semitism otherwise you’ll be kicked off the site.

    Let’s get back to talking about football, and let’s move on.

    The Gaffer

    • RaiderRich

      August 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm

      Fine, silence me, it will just prove you hate free speech, just like the boycotters.

      • The Gaffer

        August 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

        Rich, I don’t hate free speech but I want the posts to be on topic. If you want to discuss WSD matters, please visit another site.

        The Gaffer

    • Darren

      August 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

      Gaffer, not to knit-pick or anything, but there are those who consider WSD ceasing their operations as a football matter. A major one in North America even. You do an excellent job of informing your readers of where and how to get more information via ESPN, GolTV, BBC and many others. One could argue that it would be a valid topic to be mentioned on this site. I do respect your decision on not, but I am just saying.

      • The Gaffer

        August 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm

        Hi Darren, I understand where you’re coming from, but the story was been beaten to death by many other blogs and I don’t really have an interest in writing about it. To be honest, I’m over it.

        If I write about it, then people will claim I’m milking the situation to draw my traffic to my site. Plus, some of the WSD listeners are calling for a boycott of EPL Talk.

        As I’ve said before, I’d rather the topic return to talking about football, which to me is far more interesting.

        The Gaffer

        • Darren

          August 25, 2009 at 1:49 pm

          Cheers for the response. That is an agruement I can fully understand and apprecaite, as I did eventually get throught that whole, drawn-out discussion from before.

  4. JW

    August 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I could care less about who or what is to blame or how “serious” the harassment and threats were. It’s just sad that one of the most consistent places to hear people in America talk about soccer EVERY DAY is now gone. Were Steven and Kenny experts? No, but they were typically entertaining and provided an opportunity to hear legitimate other experts talk about the game.

    It’s a sad day.

  5. Joe Scribe

    August 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    There was never any proof that any of the threats Cohen harped about were actually happening.

  6. Gaz

    August 24, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    “Obviously whatever harrassment he got was uncalled for but I have no problem with people boycotting his sponsors which is also legal under free speech as people have that right as much as he has his right to his opinion.”

    Yup. Everyone please read this closely. 99.99% of us DON’T support harassment, however, we are just as entitled to free speech and similar freedoms (including boycotting) as he is.

    With that in mind, I’d wager that this has a lot more to do with his loss of revenue due to the boycotts than him fearing for his life (though it is terrible that this even comes into the equation a little). He lost his job at FSC and a ton of advertising contracts.

    Free market, mate. Someone better will fill that gap… don’t worry.

  7. Jay

    August 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    “all he did was interrupt people anyway” was a popular joke on the show – Kenny always mocked Steven for interrupting the callers!

    I’d like to see an article too, considering EPL Talk basically started the destruction of the show.

    And don’t you worry Gaffer, massive campaigns are on the way – and you are on the list! Now this is not a legitimate threat like your article spawned on Cohen’s family, daughters, and friends – just some internet stuff.

    • The Gaffer

      August 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Jay, I’m not planning on writing an article about the topic. The last article I wrote about it was three months ago, and I told my readers at that time that we were moving on so we could return the discussion back to football.

      If you’re planning on boycotting EPL Talk, that’s your right. But if you and your mates are going to do that, the only thing it’s going to do is to give EPL Talk more publicity.

      One more thing. I’ve written before on this blog how the threats against Cohen were despicable and that EPL Talk does not condone those. I said the same thing on NPR, too. My feelings about this haven’t changed one iota.

      The Gaffer

      • Jay

        August 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm

        Nothing to do with a boycott, this is actually a great site x)

        Fair enough Gaffer, but exploiting a controversial situation for views is not what’s up.

        I guess I’ll leave it at that.

        • The Gaffer

          August 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

          Jay, I’m not exploiting a controversial situation for views. Hence the reason I dropped the topic three months ago and have moved on.

          The Gaffer

      • Terry

        August 24, 2009 at 4:46 pm

        “I told my readers at that time that we were moving on so we could return the discussion back to football.”

        “How to Play the BBC iPlayer Outside of UK” is a discussion about football? More so than WSD?

        Look, the BBC iPlayer is one way people can get news on EPL and that’s the reason you posted a thread on this topic. Just the same, WSD is one way many people (not me – I have enough other podcasts to listen to) got their news of the EPL from. You haven’t started a thread on it because you wanted to censor it. That’s fine, but don’t hide behind some bull about wanting to “return the discussion back to football” that was posted three months ago. We’re not idiots here. You don’t like the guy so you didn’t want to talk about it. (Frankly, I’d understand it more if you said here you didn’t want to seem like you were gloating, but you didn’t say that, so…)

        WSD shutting down deserved at least a mention thread, no matter how you personally feel about its owner. I think all the side comments in other threads have proved that! And people could have commented “hurray, about time” or “I’ll miss it” either way. But not mentioning it at all…. very strange.

        • timmyg

          August 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm

          well its obvious the gaffer has elected to spike the story.

          it’s not an unusual thing, as papers and tv stations occasionally do it — sometimes for good and not good reasons.

          ‘the beautiful game’ podcast ending got mention here so theoretically the same should apply for WSD.

          read into it what you will.

        • The Gaffer

          August 24, 2009 at 9:47 pm

          Terry, one of the differentiators about EPL Talk is that we cover the Premier League and have a distinct focus on writing about how football fans around the world watch the league on television (hence us breaking the EPL on ESPN news) and on the Internet (we’ve had tons of articles about watching the Prem on broadband). So the BBC iPlayer story is very relevant.

          I updated my original article last Friday to include an update that Cohen had called it quits. You can read that here:

          As I said before, I want to move on and continue focusing on football. Feel free to visit other sites who have covered the WSD debacle in more detail, but we’re focusing on football coverage here.

          I have nothing against Cohen. And have supported him on several occasions in the past including having him appear on my podcasts 2-3 times as well as naming him as radio show presenter of the year in the EPL Awards. I don’t hate him as you suggest.

          The Gaffer

    • Gaz

      August 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      And if some idiot ends up threatening the Gafffer, will you (or whoever is starting this “list”) take responsibility for it as you are asking him to do?

      Or will you be sensible and realize that you are doing something legal that you believe in and think should be made right… but that idiots will always be idiots and you can’t control that.

  8. Darren

    August 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Clearly Cohen had his faults… but it made for good listening, and was a terrific way of learning what was happening in the world of football from a North American perspective. I will greatly miss listening to WSD and wonder where I will get the same quality of guests and information.
    Cohen should’ve have been more careful with his brashness to the whole situtation and did make it worse for himself, but there is no way he deserved the crap he got for it.
    Thank you to those who harassed him for 5months, and thank you to EPL talk for giving such a great platform for the boycott to gain momentum.

  9. Simon Burke

    August 24, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Gaffer, thanks for this, i may have a crack at the first solution…

    My personal opinion on Cohen is that he brought a lot of it on himself. He got in trouble a couple of years ago on Fox for his views on Hillsborough and it appeared to me he never read the Hillsborough report (Taylor report). He had to apologise on air after a lot of people were offended by his comments.

    Fast forward to the anniversary of Hillsborough and the idiot was at it again on his other medium. How hard was it to say nothing knowing that his view causes great offence? Every other pundit managed to be respectful and yet he cant help himself. He had to open his mouth and do it again. His belated apology was preambled with “Let’s get this crap over with?” Hardly heartfelt.

    Obviously whatever harrassment he got was uncalled for but I have no problem with people boycotting his sponsors which is also legal under free speech as people have that right as much as he has his right to his opinion.

    I know a lot of people liked the show, but he needs to look at himself and think “why did i repeat what I knew got me into trouble before? Was it really worth me saying again?” Also his final podcast was somewhat melodramatic. The story he told to his first or second caller where he said a salesman came to his door Thursday and Steven was scared it might be someone coming to do him harm – yet it turned out to be a legitimate salesman. That was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back and scared him off.

    That said its a shame that his show has gone , i personally thought he never had any more qualifications beyond having an English accent but thats just my opinion.

    • Dave G

      August 24, 2009 at 11:36 am

      My 10 year old son, who is football mad and dowloaded the WSD podcast onto his i-pod every day for the past 6 months had this to say to me when I told him what had happened this weekend
      “i’m not bothered…all he did was interrupt people anyway”

      lol…out of the mouths of children!

    • Terry

      August 24, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      “My personal opinion on Cohen is that he brought a lot of it on himself.”

      Geez, keep rape vicitims from this guy. What is really stupid about a comment like “he brought a lot of it on himself” is that this is basically the SAME THING Cohen said about Hillsborough: those Liverpool fans brought it on themselves. Dumb.

  10. Adam Childress

    August 24, 2009 at 10:19 am

    where is the article on World Soccer Daily closing up…to me this website and that show were the most importent things for me to visit daily….I cant believe people like Cohen with his own opinions are harrassed to the point they can no longer be on air….I listened to his comments and dont agree with all of um but Ive seen the video of the disaster and there is no f-ingway all thos epeople had tickets….absolute rubbish and im dissappointed you guys havent stood up for free speech and supported the the fact that regardless of opinions that show helps grow this sport in America…your shows are fine for interviews but their show was on daily talking near 2 hours of football for everyone to enjoy…anyway thats my beef today…..very sad day for me.

  11. Jason

    August 24, 2009 at 10:11 am

    I used a VPN for a few months. It worked well, but not worth 10 pounds a month.

  12. sucka99

    August 24, 2009 at 9:24 am

    iirc you can set foxyproxy to only proxy certain sites

  13. sucka99

    August 24, 2009 at 9:23 am

    what about foxyproxy extension to firefox?

  14. goke

    August 24, 2009 at 8:47 am

    The point of the solutions is to watch for FREE…..he could have explained solution 2 much better

  15. eplnfl

    August 24, 2009 at 8:34 am

    All easier said than done. When will the BBC figure out the cash they can make by charging a fee to international users. Ok, they may have but right restrcitions I know will be the answer.

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