Gaming NFL Gamepass with Currency Arbitrage and a VPN
I’m a cordcutter. Have been for many years, but I still like to watch NFL football especially when I’m under the weather on a Fall weekend.
But I can’t.
See, I can have the luxury of listening to the audio of the games themselves but not live video streaming them. Why? Because I live in the United States.
If only I lived outside the borders of the States could I actually get the option of purchasing a livestream package from NFL Gamepass.
But I can.
See, what I can do is use a VPN, like Tunnelbear that puts my location virtually in another country. This enables me to get access to every live streaming NFL game as long as I set my location to another country.
But wait, there’s more.
Even though the NFL is in the United States, each country has its own currency for which it can pay for the subscription. And if you’ve ever paid attention to my Twitter feed, you know that I dabble in the capital markets from time to time, looking for exploitable pricing inefficiencies to pocket a little extra coin.
Well, why not use this opportunity to flex my statistical arbitrage muscles and see which country would get me the best price based on the delta between its local currency and the U.S. Dollar.
For example, the price for the Seasons Plus NFL Gamepass package in Euros when I set my location to Italy is €249.99.
Now, the current rate of exchange for one U.S. Dollar (at the time of this writing) is $1.13.
So the simple math equates to €249.99 * $1.13 = $282.49.
If I’m in Italy it will cost me $282.49 for the season to live stream games.
What about Japan?
And the Yen?
¥32409 * $0.0083 = $268.99.
How about Australia?
The Aussie Dollar has been weak lately…
254.99 * $0.72 = $181.44.
I conducted this for a number of countries and here are the results.
Hong Kong (Chinese Yuan)
¥1679 Yuan * $0.157048 = $263.68
R$609.99* $0.253711 = $154.76
Switzerland (Swiss Franc)
$269.99 (NFL Gamepass fixed the price for Switzerland; no conversion).
€249.99 * $1.13 = $282.49 (same as Italy).
$199 (NFL Gamepass fixed the price for India; no conversion).
United Kingdom (British Pound)
£129.99 * $1.55 = $201.48
Canada (Canadian Dollar)
$304.99 * $0.75 = $228.74
The range is rather astonishing: $154.76 — $282.49.
So naturally, I hopped over to Brazil and made my purchase there.
Here’s a snippet of the game I’m watching while I type.
Snippet of the NFL I’m streaming from Brazil, at least according to NFL Gamepass.
If this type of arbitrage interests you, I should point out that when co-founding NodeSource, a globally distributed enterprise Node.js software company, part of the goal was to keep our labor costs as low as possible by paying in U.S. Dollars irrespective our where our teammates were located. The strength of the U.S. Dollar, for example, has given our Australian employees a nearly 30% pay increase just by being in Australia!