Free Online Broadcast Repeater Service Locast.org Launches in Houston, Texas
More Major Markets to Launch Soon.
The non-profit Sports Fans Coalition NY (SFCNY) today launched Locast.org, a free local broadcast video streaming service currently available in New York City and Dallas, to the people of Houston, TX, with two more top-10 markets soon to follow.
“Houston, we have liftoff,” said SFCNY Chairman David Goodfriend. “This great American city famous for rockets and energy is a perfect fit for Locast,” said Goodfriend. “Now residents of Houston, even those who cannot receive an over-the-air signal, can watch their local broadcast stations on any Internet-enabled device.”
Launched on January 11, 2018 in New York City, Locast.org streams almost every full power broadcast channel in a local market to anyone with an Internet connection located within the relevant Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA). Locast.org is available for free but asks users to make a donation to the non-profit in order to maintain operations. Since the debut of Locast.org, tens of thousands of users in the New York City and Dallas markets who cannot receive an over-the-air broadcast signal or do not want to pay for cable or satellite TV service have enjoyed their local broadcast stations on Locast.org.
Here’s how it works: Locast.org operates under the copyright statute that allows non-profit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster. The statute (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)) simply states that a non-profit organization may retransmit a local broadcast signal and even charge a fee to cover the cost of operations. Locast.org operates similarly to non-profit “translator” stations that receive an over-the-air local broadcast signal and retransmit it to boost the signal strength and expand the availability of local broadcast programming throughout a local market. For decades, non-profit translator stations have helped complete the broadcasters’ public interest mission to provide access to their local broadcast programming. That is the same public interest mission Locast.org is bringing to the New York, Dallas, and Houston media markets—through a 21st century, online digital solution. It’s the same non-profit public mission with modern technology. Watch a video about Locast.org here.
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