How to watch your favourite TV in NZ

So you’ve arrived in New Zealand and after the initial excitement of experiencing everything new here, you’re wanting to watch some comfort TV like you did back home, because as you may find New Zealand is a bit behind in the TV series department.

Apart from the national sitcom Shortland Street, which everyone needs to watch at least once during their stay as a rite of passage, the questions will arise: how do I watch foreign TV in New Zealand? How can I watch the football?

We’ve put together a list of six options for you that can probably help with what you’re after, and as avid TV and Movie enthusiasts, can vouch for them as current users of them all…

1. VPNs

A VPN is a ‘virtual private network’ and once activated, creates a safe and encrypted use of the internet. In laymans terms, this can be used to tell an organisation/website that you’re in a different country to where you are by providing a different IP address to the one that really belongs to you. All it is is an application you install on your computer, tablet, phone or router, that you simply turn on before opening your internet browser, and there’s a monthly subscription fee to pay that you can cancel like any other.

The short answer is Yes, VPN’s are legal in New Zealand, though the government does actively monitor activity of the internet by users and the way you use a VPN is what determines it legal or illegal. There are limitations to VPN’s in New Zealand, which you can read about here.

VPNs are actually a great thing to use to protect your privacy whilst you’re traveling because it protects your computer in shared WiFi networks where you’re at risk to cyber crime. You should know that it isn’t illegal to access Netflix using a VPN but it does breach their terms of use. Also beware of free VPNs, they may look great on the surface but there’s a high chance something dodgy is going on, and perhaps your details are being sold to a third-party.

Check out the best VPN’s to use in New Zealand here.

2. beIN Sports

If you are football fan then you’re in luck - beIN Sports has a New Zealand site. You can buy it with Sky and watch it on your tv but if you’re not much of a tv person, you can actually just subscribe to it online for about $15 a month and watch all your Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and many more competitions without any need to purchase Sky.

3. Netflix

Obvious, we know, but we can’t make this list without mentioning it. For about $12 NZD a month, Netflix New Zealand is getting better and better, with a large variety of shows from all around the world. We have Spanish, German, French, a whole heap of English and of course lots of American TV shows and Films.

4. TVNZ On Demand - the only free option on this list

TVNZ (a New Zealand TV channel) have an on demand option where you can stream a whole bunch of movies and TV online too, which includes a lot of English, Australian and American shows.

5. Neon (now merged with Lightbox)

Neon is also another great alternative to Netflix. Though they don’t have as much as Netflix, the quality of the majority of their films are certainly better, they’ll often have a few of the latest films and TV shows you can’t get yet on Netflix. Some of the newest releases are available to rent as an extra.

6. Sports Bars

For a bit of the atmosphere, there are a few sports bars who show big sporting events, including some Premier League games, even if they are showing at 2am in the morning. One we can personally recommend if you’re in Auckland would be Foxes Sports Bar at 85/87 Customs St W.

A final tip from us would be to keep an eye out on your energy and mobile network providers for deals that include these subscriptions as value adds to their services, it’s pretty common, Spark and 2Degrees especially.

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