Royal Ascot is one of the oldest and most famous horse racing meetings in the world. Taking place at Ascot racecourse in Berkshire, the week-long meeting features several classic Group One races with big prizes and even greater prestige.
It is also a major TV sporting event too, with ITV covering the entire week this year. But while Royal Ascot is a big deal in the UK, it is not so widely covered aboard. This means if you want to watch the action from outside the UK, you can be disappointed.
But in this article, we will explain how to use a VPN to watch ITV’s coverage of Royal Ascot no matter where in the world you are.
Watch Royal Ascot abroad
In the UK, Royal Ascot will be broadcast exclusively on ITV. Coverage will be split between their main terrestrial TV channel and their digital channel, ITV4. However, in some parts of the country, you may find that certain ITV regions are not showing every episode of their coverage.
As well as showing all the action on their TV stations, ITV will also be making their coverage available to stream, both live and on-demand, via their online streaming service, the ITV Hub.
But unfortunately, if you try to access the ITV Hub from outside the UK, you will find that you are blocked. That is because ITV employs geo-restriction technology to stop people overseas from watching.
Geo-restriction is a really simple tool which looks at the IP Address of each user to determine where they are connecting to the internet from. If it is in the UK, they can access the ITV Hub, but if it isn’t they are blocked.
However, there is a way to fool this technology into thinking you are in the UK even when you aren’t. To do this you need a VPN.
When you use a VPN, your online data is redirected through an external server. When it passes through this server, it is tagged with the IP Address of that server instead of your own. So, if the server is located in the UK, the ITV Hub will think you are too and so let you watch their coverage of Royal Ascot.
Steps to view Royal Ascot abroad
If that sounds a bit technical for you, don’t worry. Using a VPN is remarkably easy. The only difficult bit is choosing which of the many VPNs on the market to use. There are three providers we recommend for users of the ITV Hub. They are:
Each provider is slightly different, but they can all be used in broadly the same way.
To make things really easy, we have pulled together a simple step-by-step using our top recommendation, ExpressVPN as an example:
- Visit the ExpressVPN website and sign up to their service by choosing your subscription package and following the simple onscreen instructions.
- Go to the Products section of their website and download the right app for your device. These are also available in your app store.
- Open the ExpressVPN app and use the activation code provided to log in.
- Select a server based in the United Kingdom and click on it. It should connect automatically. If it doesn’t, just click the Connect button.
- Lastly, visit the ITV Hub website. If you don’t have an account already, you will need to sign up for one. This is a free and easy process. All you will need is a UK post code (such as N11 8BQ)
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When is Royal Ascot taking place?
Royal Ascot will take place from 16th – 20th June.
Most races will be broadcast live on ITV as part of their ITV Racing Live series. ITV are relative newcomers to horse racing, so it will be interesting to see what innovations and changes they bring to what can be a very traditional format.
The timing of the races will vary a little each day, but broadly speaking the first race will take place at around 1.30pm (BST) and the action will finish at around 6pm (BST). If you are planning to stream live coverage of the races, be sure to check the times to make sure that you don’t miss anything.
Coverage will be fronted by Ed Chamberlain and Francesca Cumani and they will be joined by a host of guests from the world of horse racing, plus a few celebrities and other surprise guests throughout the week.
Among the big races which will once again be part of Royal Ascot are the Queen Anne Stakes (which will open the week), the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Prince of Wales Stakes, the Commonwealth Cup, the Coronation Stakes, and the Gold Cup.
With huge prize money up for grabs it's little wonder then that the very best jockeys, trainers, and indeed horses from across the UK and beyond will be descending on Ascot for a fascinating five days of racing.
Summary of what you need
This year will see Royal Ascot being broadcast on ITV as part of their ITV Racing programme. It will also be available to stream on the ITV Hub, both live and on-demand.
But if you are abroad, you will not be able to do this without using a VPN connected to a British server. In this article, we have explained how to do this as well as make some recommendations of the best VPNs to use.
Sign up for one of these and follow our simple instructions and you too can enjoy the jewel in the crown of British horse racing from wherever you are in the world.
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