How to Watch the World Athletics Championships 2023 Anywhere



David has been watching TV outside of his home country for over 12 years. In addition to his streaming expertise, he has a wealth of experience in watching sports and documentaries, having spent many years following these genres. He is an avid fan of The Detectorists and Blue Planet, and also has a keen interest in English football.

Away from the Olympic Games, the World Athletics Championship is the biggest event in the calendar for track and field athletes.

It takes place once every two years, so opportunities for success here are more regular but no less cherished by athletes.

It is an event where you know that you are competing against the best of the best from right across the world. And a medal here can be the culmination of a lifetime’s hard work and sacrifice.

For athletics fans, the World Championships are a big deal too. But athletics is not as popular in some countries as it might be and, for armchair fans like me, this can be a problem.

Quick Guide: How to live stream the World Athletics Championships

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN.
  2. Download the VPN app, sign in, and select ‘United Kingdom‘.
  3. Go to BBC iPlayer.
  4. Start watching all the sports.

Quite simply, the World Athletics Championships will not be broadcast everywhere, which means there are some fans around the world who will have to miss out on this year’s action.

If you are worried that might be you, don’t fret. I’m away from my country in a country where the World Athletics Championships is not being broadcast. And I have found a neat way to unblock coverage and make sure I can watch all the action.

In this guide, I will explain how you can do that too.

What you need to start streaming the World Athletics Championships

National Athletics Stadium, Budapest, Hungary

The World Athletics Championships 2023 is being broadcast live and on-demand in the UK on the BBC, and full coverage will also be available online on the BBC iPlayer streaming service.

The BBC uses geo-blocking to stop people abroad from watching BBC iPlayer content. But it is possible to unblock this and watch the World Athletics Championships 2023 if you use an app called a ‘VPN‘.

So if you’re an expat or off on holiday you don’t need to miss any of the action.

A VPN is an online security and privacy tool, but a quirk of how it works means it is perfect for unblocking streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer too.

A VPN works by encrypting your internet data and redirecting it via an external server. That server, which can be based anywhere, stamps your data with different location data.

Because VPN servers can be situated all over the world, that means it’s possible to make it appear like you are practically anywhere in the world as well.

So, how to use a VPN to watch the World Athletics Championships 2023 where you are?

All you have to do is connect to a VPN server located in the UK, and you will be able to watch the World Athletics Championships 2023 live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer.

Yes. It really is as simple as that and the app does all the hard work for you, all you need to do is tap one button.

How to live stream the World Athletics Championships 2023

If you are new to VPNs or a bit nervous, don’t worry, I’ve done this a lot, and I’ve got your back.

To walk you through the process of getting everything up and running, I have compiled this simple step-by-step guide for you to follow:

Step 1: Choose a VPN service provider

Not all VPNs work with the BBC iPlayer, so be sure to choose one that does and which offers the connection speeds, apps, and UK-based servers you need.

ExpressVPN is our top recommendation.

Just visit their website and sign up for their annual deal, which offers the best value for money as it comes with a 49% discount and an extra 3 months for free allowing you to watch the entire event.

NordVPN and Surfshark VPN are two alternatives if you want to shop around. All three come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Step 2: Download and install the VPN software

Once you have signed up for your chosen VPN, you will need to download the VPN app onto your preferred streaming device. Always be sure to do this either from the official VPN website or your app store for security reasons.

Once you have downloaded the app, open it and log in using your new account details.

Step 3: Select a server from a country where the stream is accessible.

Once you have logged in, you will need to connect to a UK-based VPN server.

To do this, take a look at the VPN server list (or map with some providers) and click on the United Kingdom then Connect. Some providers will give you the option to choose a specific location within the UK.

The best advice is usually to choose the place closest to your actual location.

ExpressVPN connecting to the UK

Watch the events anywhere using ExpressVPN.

Step 4: Connect to the server and access the live stream.

Once you have clicked on a UK server, wait a few moments while the VPN establishes a connection.

Then, all you have to do is log into the BBC iPlayer as usual (accounts are free and easy to set up if you don’t have one) using either the website or app. Confirm you agree with any of their requirements.

Then seek out the World Athletics Championships 2023 event you want to watch, and off you go.

I have used this method on numerous occasions, and trust me, it works every time.

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Alternative Viewing Options

There are some alternatives to the BBC iPlayer for watching the World Athletics Championships 2023.

As well as the iPlayer, the BBC will also be making many live events and highlights streams available through the BBC Sport website. Again, you will need to use a VPN to unblock this content from overseas as well.

There will also be lots of clips and streams available through the BBC and World Athletics Federation (and doubtless many other users as well) on social media sites including, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and more.

YouTube will also be packed with highlights, analysis videos and other content from both the BBC and those other international broadcasters who are covering the event.

Again, some of this content (but not all) is likely to be geo-restricted, and so, require a VPN to watch in many parts of the world.

Lastly, there will be various mobile apps from global broadcasters that will also include highlights, streams, and more. You will need to research which apps have the best coverage and again, a VPN is likely to be needed.

So, there are different ways to follow the World Athletics Championships 2023. But the BBC iPlayer offers the most comprehensive coverage you will find, and, with a VPN, you can enjoy that from anywhere in the world.

Using Smart TVs and Streaming Devices

Female athletics sprinter

It’s always better to watch events like the World Athletics Championships 2023 on your Smart TV rather than smaller screens like your mobile phone.

Most Smart TV come with apps for streaming services like BBC iPlayer, and premium VPNs like ExpressVPN also have apps that can be uploaded onto the best Smart TVs as well. Alternative the Amazon Fire TV Stick can load apps for both iPlayer and ExpressVPN.

An alternative is to mirror your mobile device onto your Smart TV. Most devices are compatible with most Smart TVs.

Alternatively, you can use external streaming devices such as Roku and Chromecast to stream on your Smart TV. These simple plug-in devices are also compatible with most streaming services and some premium VPNs.

To watch the World Athletics Championships 2023 on BBC iPlayer using something like Roku and Chromecast you will again need to use a VPN to unblock the iPlayer service.

For any devices that don’t support a VPN, or for people who don’t fancy the manual installation that is sometimes required, the alternative is to use a VPN-enabled router such as the Invizbox 2.

This enables you to reroute all of the traffic going through that router via a VPN server and is a simple way to unlock live streams on devices that are not VPN compatible.

Watching in Different Time Zones

Depending on where in the world you are, you might find the challenge of watching the World Athletics Championships 2023 is syncing with the different time zone.

The World Athletics Championships 2023 is being held in Budapest, Hungary, so for viewers in places like the USA or Australia, there is a big time difference to contend with. But we do have a few scheduling tips that can help:

  • Plan Ahead: Check the time difference and schedule your shows accordingly.
  • Use On-Demand: If you don’t absolutely need to watch the action live, use streaming services on-demand services to watch them at your convenience.
  • Global TV Guides: Utilise online TV guides that display schedules for multiple time zones.
  • Social Media Alerts: Set up alerts on social media for World Athletics Championships 2023 updates.

The other key tip is to make use of time zone conversion tools to work out exactly when the big World Athletics Championships 2023 events you want to watch are on and then plan to make sure you don’t miss them.

Some of the best time zone conversion options are:

  • World Clock Websites: Websites like offer easy time zone conversion.
  • Mobile Apps: Install apps like Time Zone Converter for quick on-the-go conversions.
  • Google Search: Simply type ‘current time in [city]’ for instant results.
  • Smartphone Widgets: Add time zone widgets to your phone’s home screen for real-time updates.

By using one or several of these tips, there is no reason why you should miss any of the World Athletics Championships 2023 action.

Tips for an Enhanced Viewing Experience

If you want to have an even better experience of the World Athletics Championships 2023, there are a few things you can do to enhance your experience of watching the action even more:

  • Use Second Screens: Enhance your understanding of the event by using a second screen, like a tablet or smartphone, to access live stats, athlete profiles, and real-time updates while watching the main event on your TV.
  • Virtual Watch Parties: Create a global fan experience by hosting virtual watch parties. Connect with friends and fellow fans through platforms like Zoom or Discord, sharing reactions and insights in real-time.
  • Create a Sports Atmosphere: Bring the stadium energy home by decorating your viewing area with sports-themed decor. Use national colours, banners, and even sound effects to immerse yourself in the event.
  • Interactive Apps: Download official event apps that offer interactive features, quizzes, and challenges related to the championships. Use these to engage with the event in a unique and informative way.

Safety Considerations While Using a VPN

Premium VPNs are, by and large, safe to use. But as with all online tools, there are some safety considerations you should bear in mind:

Select a Reputable VPN Provider

Prioritise security by choosing a trusted VPN provider. Research their privacy policies, user reviews, and data protection practices to ensure your sensitive information remains secure.

Steer Clear of Free VPNs

Avoid free VPN services that often compromise your data privacy. Instead, opt for paid options such as ExpressVPN that offer reliable encryption and a commitment to user privacy.

Most are no more than $5-$10 per month so it’s not a huge outlay for peace of mind.

Avoid Unofficial Streams

Sidestep the risks of unofficial or pirated streams. These sources can expose your device to malware, phishing, and other cybersecurity threats.

A recent 2022 illegal sports stream report showed that “analysis of 50 popular sites uncovered that every single one contained malicious content.” (Source)

Understand Legal Implications

Be aware of the legal implications surrounding the use of illegal streams in your jurisdiction. Unauthorised streaming might lead to legal consequences, so opt for legitimate sources to enjoy content responsibly.

Athletes and Events to Watch

There are some big names and some hugely exciting events taking place at the World Athletics Championships 2023. The head of World Athletics, Seb Coe, has said that he expects “big moments” at this year’s event.

US sprinter Fred Kerley could become the first man to retain the 100m crown since Usain Bolt did it in 2015. Both Kerley and former Champion Christian Coleman could join a select bunch of just three athletes to win the 100m World crown more than once.

Fred Kerley

In the women’s 100m, there are four big names in contention, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, bidding for a sixth 100m World title, but with a strong challenge likely to come from compatriot Shericka Jackson, Sha’Carri Richardson from the USA and the Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee-Ta Lou.

For the UK, Dina Asher-Smith is a contender to retain her 200m crown, while heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson will hope to be able to put a catastrophic 2022 behind her. But as she has said in the run-up to the tournament, “The heptathlon this year is so strong, and it is going to take world class performances in at least a couple of events to get the gold.”

Dina Asher-Smith


The World Athletics Championships 2023 is being streaming live and on-demand on the BBC iPlayer, and this is the best place to go if you are looking for comprehensive coverage of the whole tournament.

Unfortunately, if you are outside the UK, you will find the BBC iPlayer block and will need to use a VPN to get around this and watch.

ExpressVPN is the best one to go for. Just sign up for ExpressVPN and then follow our step-by-step guide to download the app, log in, and connect to a UK-based server.

The World Athletics Championships 2023 promises to be an exceptional tournament and a proper feast of sport. You do not want to miss this and thanks to our tried and tested method, you won’t have to no matter where in the world you are.

The very best athletes in the world are competing for some of the biggest medals in global athletes. The world will be watching. Make sure you are too.


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Additional Resources

Official Websites

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Our top recommend VPNs for streaming the World Athletics Championships 2023 on the BBC iPlayer are:

Time zone conversion tools

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