Watch BBC News Abroad Online

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For many of us, the memories of our first foreign holidays were punctuated with a desperate search for newspapers in English. Even though you were only spending a couple of weeks on the Costa del Sol, it was easy to feel completely isolated from all the world and domestic news. Finding a copy of the Daily Mirror which was only a couple of days old and three times the cover price was about the best you could hope for.

Nowadays things have changed of course, most of us have access to the internet in our pockets but browsing the web for news is not quite the same as watching the BBC News abroad online. This you would think was simple however unfortunately all the BBC programmes including the BBC news live video are simply not available when you access the internet from outside the UK.

There are in fact two completely different versions of the BBC website dependant entirely on your location. Outside the UK you will receive the ‘International’ version which is fine but doesn’t contain any live TV, BBC iPlayer or the ability to access most radio stations.    The simple fact is that outside the UK (Germany for example)  the BBC is a commercial organisation called BBC Worldwide.

The domestic version which you can access from within the UK has all the features and you can watch any BBC programme either live or on ‘catch up’ for a few weeks after.  It’s an incredible resource and forms the basis of many people’s entertainment, remember all these programmes are completely free of advertising and commercial breaks.   You can even download the programmes to watch offline on any device you like.

How to Watch the BBC News Abroad

Fortunately there is an option to be able to watch the BBC News and all the other great programmes when you’re outside the UK  – here’s the video

With a little effort you can have access to all the BBC online channels including the BBC live stream and through the iPlayer application. All you need to do is convince the BBC website that you are in the UK by routing through a UK address and you can watch the BBC News live online irrespective of your location.

There was some hope that all this wouldn’t be necessary in the future, as the European Union were pressuring digital content providers like the BBC to supply their product to license fee payers across the European borders.  The expectation was that anyone who had paid the license fee would be allowed to access the full BBC site from Germany, France or anywhere in Europe, probably using some sort of code linked to their TV license.

Unfortunately it’s likely the BBC will probably quietly shelve these proposals due to the UK Brexit vote. So for travellers, expats and anyone who simply want’s to enjoy the BBC News headlines and all the UK televisions channels which are currently online then investing in a VPN service seems a sensible and inexpensive option.

Remember now you can also use this to watch BBC live TV too, however you’ll need to remember the time zone difference.  The Ten 0 Clock BBC News will probably not be on at 10 PM anywhere else in the world.


This is our recommendation, a security programs that still actually work for to watch BBC News abroad, then can we suggest trying out – IDC, it’s been working with the BBC iPlayer for nearly ten years now and still works perfectly well.

10 thoughts on “Watch BBC News Abroad Online

  1. Am I able to watch the BBC News on iPlayer if I miss the live stream? Someone told me they don’t put the news on here and you have to watch it live.

    1. Hi, Yes it’s different for the news and sports! The news is not archived in the same way as all the other programmes. Currently it seems that they only archive the news broadcasts for a maximum of 24 hours. So for example you can watch the News at 10 until 10:30 pm the next day until the next one is broadcast.

  2. Thanks, so if I click on a UK server then I can access all UK sites is that correct? Also you mentioned other countries do I have to pay extra for those, I’d like to be able to access US stuff when I’m in the UK as well – would that be ok?

    1. Yes that’s right just click on any UK server and you’ll be fine. All the countries are included in the subscription, so you can use the US servers to access US only sites when you’re travelling too. In fact you should use the US servers when you just need the security as they’ll be the quickest ones for you.

    1. Yep it does, but it’s not a problem. Make sure you’ve got a UK connection when you create an account. It will ask you for a postcode, so make sure you have a UK postcode handy – doesn’t matter where as long as it’s valid. That’s it, the account is just to monitor your preferences and what you are watching.

    1. Yes it works for both, just remember the time difference – which I keep forgetting when I settle down for the 10 0 clock News! Also they only archive the news for a day or two I think on BBC iPlayer.

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