How to Cut the Cord & Avoid Blackout to Watch Sports Online

sports online

Greetings from Ireland! If you’re like me, passionate about sports but equally frustrated with traditional TV subscriptions and blackouts, welcome to the club. Cutting the cord isn’t just about saving money; it’s about gaining access to a world where every game, match, and race is at your fingertips. Let’s dive deeper into making the transition to online sports streaming, shall we?

Understanding the Basics

Cutting the cord means ditching your traditional cable or satellite TV in favor of streaming services. It’s a trend that’s been on the rise globally, with a report from eMarketer that said predicting that by 2026, over 80 million US households would have cut the cable TV cord. In Ireland, the shift is similar, driven by the desire for more choice and flexibility.

Sports blackouts are a bit like the unpredictable Irish weather – they can put a damper on your plans without much warning. Due to broadcasting rights agreements, live games are sometimes not available in certain areas, especially if the event is supposed to be exclusive to local television. It’s a measure intended to protect broadcasters’ investment, but it’s incredibly frustrating for fans.

Preparing to Cut the Cord

Assessing Your Sports Viewing Needs

The first step is understanding exactly what sports content you’re after. In Ireland, this might mean Gaelic games, rugby, football, or international sports like American football or basketball. Each sport, and sometimes each league within a sport, can have different broadcasting rights, affecting where and how you can watch it.

Internet Speed Requirements

For a smooth streaming experience, your internet speed is crucial. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 25 Mbps is the minimum for streaming HD content. However, with the average internet speed in Ireland hitting about 78.3 Mbps in 2021, most households should be well-equipped for HD streaming, even if multiple devices are connected.

Equipment and Setup

While you can stream on a smartphone or tablet, nothing beats watching sports on a big screen. Smart TVs or streaming devices like the Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chromecast can enhance your viewing experience. Just ensure your home WiFi covers the living room adequately – nobody wants the signal to drop during a crucial moment.

Choosing the Right Streaming Services

Major Sports Streaming Platforms

For football fans, services like Sky Sports Now are indispensable, offering not just Premier League action but also golf, cricket, and Formula 1. Rugby enthusiasts might lean towards Eir Sport for its comprehensive coverage of both domestic and international matches.

Specialized Services for Niche Sports

GAA GO is a treasure trove for fans of Gaelic games, providing live and on-demand access to matches. It’s an excellent example of how niche sports can offer dedicated streaming services that cater specifically to their fanbase.

International Options for Global Sports Fans

For those of us in Ireland craving international sports, NBA League Pass and NFL Game Pass offer comprehensive coverage. But beware, even these services can have blackout rules for certain games, although they’re less common for international viewers.

Tips to Avoid Blackouts

Understanding Blackout Restrictions

A bit of research into why and how blackouts occur can save you a lot of frustration. In essence, if a game is not sold out, it might be blacked out locally to encourage ticket sales – a practice common in the United States.


Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass geographic restrictions is a common tactic. While this can be effective, it’s essential to understand the legal and ethical implications. Choose a reputable VPN service if you decide to go this route, and be aware that some streaming services actively block VPN users.

Alternative Viewing Options

Sometimes, the old-school radio commentary or waiting for the replay can be just as satisfying (and less stressful) than battling blackouts. Plus, it adds a nostalgic charm to the game-watching experience.

Making the Most of Your Streaming Experience

Integrating Streaming Services

Juggling multiple subscriptions can be a hassle, but it’s often necessary to access all the sports you want to follow. Using digital calendars to track game times and subscription renewals can help you stay organized.

Social Viewing

Just because you’re streaming doesn’t mean you have to watch alone. Tools and platforms like Discord offer ways to watch games together with friends online, bringing the communal experience of sports viewing into the digital age.

Staying Informed

The landscape of sports streaming is always changing. Keeping up with the latest services, changes in broadcasting rights, and community recommendations can keep you ahead of the game. Online forums, sports news websites, and social media groups dedicated to cord-cutting and sports streaming are valuable resources. These platforms often share updates on which services carry specific events or how to navigate around new blackout restrictions.


Transitioning to online sports streaming is like embarking on a journey from the familiar shores of traditional TV to the exciting, albeit sometimes challenging, world of digital content. It’s about embracing the change, from the way we access our favourite sports to how we interact with fellow fans across the globe. Yes, there might be a few rain clouds (read: blackouts and technical hiccups) along the way, but with a bit of preparation and the right tools, the sun will shine on your sports viewing days again.

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Written by Paul Adair

Writing and discovering new streaming platforms is what I do best. On, I share my journey and guide you to the best ways to enjoy your favorite content.


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