How to watch the UK Boat Race online



Chris, a UK-born media connoisseur, is an expert in watching international TV. Known as "The Global Screen Wanderer", he has travelled extensively across the globe with long stints away from home. With over 10 years of experience he has become the go-to guru for streaming content from home and abroad.

In this guide I’ll be showing you the simple way to stream The Boat Race live from the UK anywhere in the world.

Oxford vs Cambridge or simply ‘The Boat Race‘ as it is more commonly known is one of the most famous rowing contests in the world.

In an age-old battle that has taken place annually since 1856, the high stakes rowing battle is one that you’ll undoubtedly want to watch. Sadly though coverage of The Boat Race is minimal.

If you’re outside the UK there are very few networks that show the event live and without resorting to sketchy low-quality streams, you could be left with nowhere to watch.

In this guide I’ll be showing you how by using a simple VPN app you can watch The Boat Race live online in high quality from the UK’s BBC service. Best of all, it’s beginner friendly, only takes a few steps and you can be set-up and streaming the race within minutes.

What you need to stream the Boat Race live

To watch The Boat Race outside the UK, you’ll need to sign up for a VPN app.

It’s a legal app that helps you protect your online privacy. One of the features is the ability to hide your location and make it seem like you’re somewhere else.

By using a VPN you can watch The Boat Race live online on the UK’s official stream on the BBC iPlayer service.

A VPN will cost you a couple of dollars but you can use it for watching loads of other great content, not just The Boat Race.

The best VPN right now is ExpressVPN. They’re fast which means you won’t experience any buffering which is essential, they’re also really easy to use and if you decide to take their annual package, you can get 3-months entirely free saving you 49% in the process.

If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands then check out NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN too as they both work well for watching The Boat Race.

Once you’ve decided on one of the VPN providers follow the steps below.

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How to stream the Boat Race anywhere

Step 1: Sign up for a VPN

Visit your chosen VPN provider, for example, ExpressVPN and sign up for their service.

In this example, I’ll be using ExpressVPN throughout but you can adapt these steps easily for one of the other providers.

Step 2: Download and Install the VPN

Now you’ve signed up you’ll need to download and install the VPN app.

For computers running Windows or Mac OS you can download the app from the ‘Products‘ section of the ExpressVPN website.

If you’re using a mobile device running Android or Apple iOS then use your regular app store, search ‘ExpressVPN’ and install the app from there.

Step 3: Open the app and Login

Open the newly downloaded and installed app and login with your account details.

These are the details you created when you signed up.

Step 4: Connect to the UK

On the desktop app press the ‘Selected Location‘ button then click on ‘United Kingdom‘. You’ll then need to click ‘Connect‘.

If you’re using a phone or tablet press the three ‘‘ next to Selected Location then click on ‘United Kingdom‘. The app will automatically start to connect for you.

ExpressVPN app connecting to the UK.

Watch The Boat Race live.

Step 5: Watch The Boat Race

Now you’re connected to the VPN app any websites or apps you use will think you’re in the United Kingdom.

You can watch The Boat Race on the UK’s BBC iPlayer website or use their app to watch.

Once you’ve finished watching The Boat Race you can disconnect. You can of course reconnect at any time and look around and watch what else is available.

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When is The Boat Race on TV?

This year The Boat Race takes place on April 4th, 2021.

The Women’s Boat Race is expected to start at 3:10 pm UK Time with the Men’s Boat Race taking place at 4:10 pm.

You can find the full day’s event schedule over at the official The Boat Race website.

If you need to find out what time that is in your country then you can use this link.

How can I get the BBC iPlayer app?

Watching on a computer is by far the easiest method to watch The Boat Race. You only need the VPN app and can then watch Oxford v Cambridge on the BBC iPlayer website. You will also need to create a free account.

If you can’t get to a computer and want to watch on a phone or tablet then you’ll need to download the BBC’s mobile app.

You won’t be able to do this directly from your app store if you’re outside the UK. Follow the instructions below for the type of device you want to watch on.


Open a new web-browser and enter the following URL:

You can download and install the required app. You’ll still need to connect to the VPN app as explained earlier to watch the race.

Apple iOS:

If you want to watch on an iPhone or iPad you’ll need to watch this video or follow this guide on how to install the BBC iPlayer app outside the UK.

In Summary

To watch The Boat Race outside the UK online you’ll need to download a VPN app.

There are hundreds to choose from but I recommend ExpressVPN.

Sign up for their service and download their app. Then connect to the United Kingdom. Once you’ve connected, you can live stream the Women’s and Men’s Boat Race live online.

Watch the The Boat Race

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