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Commenter Stephen Sclafani figured out that replacing one cookie which YouTube's servers stuff into your browser will get you through to the site's U.S.-blocked beijing2008 channel. I'm watching Argentina vs. Cote D'Ivoire right now. Here are Stephen's instructions, slightly edited (I used to write documentation):

1. Open in your browser.

2. After the site loads, find the option in your browser for editing cookies. Here's the instructions for Firefox 3.0:

  • Click the Tools->Options (Windows) or Firefox->Preferences (Mac) menu option
  • On the Preferences pane that appears, click the Privacy Tab.
  • In the Privacy panel, Click on Show Cookies...
  • In the Cookies panel that appears, search for "youtube" in the search box.
  • Look for a cookie named " GEO"
  • Select the GEO cookie and click Remove Cookie

3. In the same browser window that has YouTube loaded, set your own GEO cookie by trying to open this URL in your browser. Be sure to remove any line breaks that might creep in from cutting and pasting.

javascript:alert(document.cookie="GEO=bb84fb3cd7df0311bb5026df4d6b524fcxkAAABLUixubyByZWdpb24sc2VvdWwsLCwsLC0x; path=/;")

You should get a dropdown dialog box that says "The page at says GEO=bb84fb3cd7df0 ..." This is not an error message, it's a notification that you've set the cookie successfully.

4. You should have a rigged GEO cookie for YouTube now. Try opening If you don't get the splashy red Beijing 2008 page shown above, you may not have set the cookie correctly.