Nonprofit Locast is only service to stream more than 45 local TV channels – for free – over internet into Columbus
Columbus, Ohio – June 29, 2021 – Locast, America’s only nonprofit, free, local broadcast TV digital translator streaming service, is now delivering 45 local TV channels via the internet – for free – to the 2.5 million residents living in Columbus, Ohio, TV market, which includes the cities of Bucyrus, Chillicothe, Marion, Mt. Vernon, and Washington Court House. Columbus is Locast’s 34th market.
Columbus is also home to university students who can qualify for the Locast Cares Program – a way for users who cannot donate financially to watch their local TV channels without receiving donation-request interruptions. The program is open to the first 25,000 applicants and available for one year. Students, first responders and low income households, among others, can apply at www.locast.org/cares.
Locast can help people stay informed about major storms, health updates, local news, weather, and sports through their local broadcast TV stations. Especially in areas where over-the-air broadcast reception can be unreliable, Columbus residents can use Locast to watch their local TV channels via the internet on their phones, tablets, laptops or streaming media devices.
Locast delivers more than 45 local TV channels in the Columbus designated market area (DMA), including WCMH NBC 4, WSYX ABC 6, WBNS CBS 10, WTTE FOX 28, PBS, PBS Kids, as well as DABL, Telemundo, Antenna, CourtTV, Movies, MeTV, TrueCrime, CW, Circle, BOUNCE, Quest, LAFF, COMET, HSN, GRIT, Charge!, and more.
Locast is accessible to viewers in 20 counties in the Columbus DMA including Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Union.
So-called “cord cutters”, who cancel their increasingly expensive pay-TV subscriptions, and “cord-nevers”, who have never subscribed to pay-TV services, represent a significant proportion of Locast users. For those who cannot afford pay TV or cannot receive an over-the-air signal, Locast is often their only link to local broadcast news, emergency information, weather, sports, and entertainment.
Locast was started by consumer advocate David Goodfriend, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who founded the nonprofit advocacy organization, Sports Fans Coalition, in 2009. He helped lead the fight against the NFL and large media companies by petitioning the FCC to end the 40-year-old, anti-fan Sports Blackout Rule. Sports Fans Coalition won in 2014 when the FCC voted unanimously to end the practice, giving fans greater access to watch their local football team. Goodfriend founded Locast in 2018 to help ensure widespread availability of local TV channels.
Locast now has more than 2.8 million registered users nationwide in 34 markets – large and small – reaching more than half of the U.S. population. Compared to most streaming services, which charge fees, Locast is available for free.
Locast operates under the Copyright Act of 1976 that allows nonprofit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster. The federal statute (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)) states that a nonprofit organization may retransmit a local broadcast signal and collect a fee to cover the cost of operations. Locast asks viewers to donate as little as $5 per month to help cover operating costs. The donation is voluntary and not required.
How to watch local TV without cable or an antenna: Locast is available for streaming at www.locast.org, app stores, TiVo, streaming device providers Google Play, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon, and ROKU, and on DISH Hopper/Wally receivers or select DIRECTV receivers. Locast also offers Spanish-language access to the Locast app’s user-interface, log-in screens, and program guide. Complete local TV guides are available at www.locast.org.