Stream easier on vacation

It starts on Easter Sunday: Then Germans can watch their series and the Bundesliga broadcast in other EU countries. But not everything works.

We don't want to go swimming.

When Germans want to watch German series content on streaming platforms such as Netflix while on vacation abroad, it will be easier for them in the future. From Easter Sunday, a regulation of the European Union will apply, according to which providers of paid subscription services such as Spotify, Sky or Netflix must enable their customers in other EU countries to access content from their home country.

So far, the services were either not available or – as in the case of Netflix – only other video offers were available. So anyone who accessed the video streaming provider from Spain, for example, had the Spanish offer, which means that some series or films that were available in Germany were usually not available.

Bundesliga abroad

From April 1st, companies will have to check the residence of their customers, for example using the payment details with the credit card or the IP address that shows the approximate location of the user. The Bundesliga program on Saturdays would then also be available from abroad on Sky Go. This should apply for a certain period of time, i.e. when customers of the platforms are on business trip or on vacation. The prices for subscriptions may therefore not be increased.

Nevertheless, the new regulation is not the final end of the so-called geoblocking. The message “This content is not available in your country” will continue to be seen frequently. Because there are exceptions, for example for the offers of the public broadcasters. They can continue to restrict broadcasts to national borders, so rigid copyright rules apply to football broadcasts, for example. The sports show or other content from media libraries of the public broadcasters could continue to be blocked. If rights holders do not agree to make their content available on streaming platforms around the world at the same time, users cannot completely bypass country regulations.

As a result, the new EU regulation will not be the end of VPN services. These virtual private networks allow Internet users to hide their true location in order to bypass Internet blocks.