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How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2020

Do you want to watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2020? Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you are just 5 minutes away from the UK, and in Ireland or whether you are in the US. BBC iPlayer without the method we will share in this guide doesn’t work outside of the UK, worldwide.

That means that as it is, no Peaky Blinders for you.

In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to watch BBC iPlayer in the US, but also explain why you can’t in the first place.

Why You Can’t Watch BBC iPlayer in the US

In the past, the BBC would tell you that you can’t watch BBC iPlayer because you don’t pay for a TV license.

And that’s great, but what if you were from the UK and lived there, but were on business in the US?

Then you do pay your TV license, yet, you still can’t watch BBC iPlayer in the US.

That’s where this reason just doesn’t add up.

Eventually, the BBC started to give the real reason.

That BBC isn’t able to show content outside of the UK because it doesn’t have the rights to show it.

Sure, content like Peaky Blinders is made by BBC, and so is Top Gear, but there’s a ton of BBC content that BBC pays for, to show on their platform.

And the rights they pay for? They are for the UK region only. After all, the BBC is UK based, and paying to show content in other countries too, would cost a lot more.

Then there’s also the situation of other platforms paying BBC for exclusive rights to show content in a specific region, like for instance, with Peaky Blinders.

That’s one of the reasons why Disney Plus wasn’t able to launch for quite some time at the start.

How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2020

There are 3 steps to watching BBC in the US.

  1. Make BBC think you are in the UK.
  2. Creating a BBC iPlayer account.
  3. Fool your app store into thinking you are in the UK so you can download the BBC app.

Making BBC Think You Are in the UK

For this step, you will need a VPN that supports BBC iPlayer.

The key being “supports BBC iPlayer.”

A lot of VPN services focus on American servers, which is great for people in Europe, but not so many VPN services focus on entertainment around the world, with the BBC iPlayer being a great example of that.

PrivateVPN? It works with BBC iPlayer in the US and all the most popular services in the world. And it comes with a 7-day risk-free trial that doesn’t ask for a card.

Sign up, download the app, and connect to a BBC iPlayer server, and you are almost there.

Creating a BBC iPlayer Account in the US

This step is almost like on any other website.

Except, you will need to provide a UK zip code. 

You can use a UK “Post Code Generator” on Google for that.

You’ll also need to mention whether you pay the UK TV license.

And for almost all, that’s now it. You will now be able to watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2020.

But you might also want to watch BBC iPlayer on a TV, or you might want to get the BBC app on your phone. We’ll walk you through that now.

BBC iPlayer App on Your Apple Devices

To download BBC iPlayer in the US on your Apple device, you will need to sign out of your iCloud account, followed by creating a new account with your location in the UK.

On Apple devices, it’s super important that you create a new account.

If you don’t, and just change your current region, you will lose everything.

Of course, after you download BBC iPlayer, you can sign back into your old account, and everything will still be there, so you don’t have to worry about having to use that new account.

BBC iPlayer on Your Android Devices

On Android devices, the steps will differ.

  1. Connect to a UK region using a VPN.
  2. Press on 3 bars on the top-left of the screen in your Play Store.
  3. Go to Account.
  4. Google will now give you an option to switch your location to be in the UK.
  5. Update your payment method.
  6. Download BBC iPlayer.

You can always also just download BBC iPlayer outside of the Google Play Store.

Watching BBC iPlayer on a TV

This is where it gets complicated.

Most smart TV’s aren’t smart enough to support VPN services. The same also applies to the likes of Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku.

What can you do? Either connect an HDMI cable and a laptop, or get one of the Amazon Fire TV devices as they support VPN services.

Here’s how to get BBC iPlayer on a Fire TV if you already have a Fire TV

  • Go to your current Amazon account in the web browser.
  • Press on Accounts & Lists, followed by Manage Your Account and Content.
  • Change your region to be in the UK.
  • Now go to your Amazon Fire TV device. Press on Settings and My Account.
  • Deregister and sign back into your Amazon account.
  • Download BBC iPlayer on your Fire TV.

If you don’t yet have a Fire TV and are planning to get one, simply choose for your region to be in the UK, and that will be enough.

That’s How to Watch BBC iPlayer in the US in 2020

Ready to watch BBC iPlayer in the US? Sign up for the 7-day risk-free trial and get started watching right now. And if you get bored, get the most out of your Netflix by unblocking the most Netflix regions possible or try out other non-US platforms like RTE Player.

Written by Michael Smolski.

Disclaimer: BBC iPlayer takes measures against VPN services. As a result, PrivateVPN, even though it has worked with BBC for years, cannot guarantee that BBC iPlayer will work with PrivateVPN, non-stop, at all times.