Nonprofit Locast is only service streaming 70 local TV channels – for free – over internet
Cleveland – March 10 , 2021 – Locast, America’s only nonprofit, free, local broadcast TV digital translator streaming service, is now delivering 70 local TV channels via the internet – for free – to the approximately 4 million residents living in the Cleveland market, which includes the cities of Akron, Ashland, Ashtabula, Canton, Mansfield and Sandusky. Cleveland is the 30th Locast market.
For the first time, residents in Cleveland and the greater metro area will be able to watch all of their local TV stations via the Internet on their phones, tablets, laptops, or streaming media devices. Some of the highly anticipated college championship basketball games will be available through Locast starting March 19.
Locast provides a public service by giving access to important local news, storm coverage, emergency information, COVID health and safety updates, election coverage, sports, and entertainment programming to internet-connected devices.
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. As a nonprofit, Locast performs a critical public service by increasing access to local broadcast channels – on the go, over the internet, on any device.
Locast delivers 70 local TV channels in the Cleveland designated market area (DMA), including WKYC NBC 3, WEWS ABC 5, WJW FOX 8, WOIO CBS 19, PBS and PBS Kids, as well as DABL, Univision, Azteca America, CourtTV, Mystery, MeTV, TrueCrime, QUBO, Circle, The CW, BOUNCE, Movies!, LAFF, COMET, cheddar, ION, GRIT, Charge!, and more.
Locast is accessible to viewers in 17 counties in the Cleveland DMA including Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Wayne.
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 has more than 2.3 million registered users nationwide in 29 markets – large and small – reaching nearly half of the U.S. population. In 2020, Locast added more than 1 million users, making it one of the fastest-growing live TV streaming services and was named the 2020 most-improved streaming service by TechHive. Compared to most streaming services, which charge fees, Locast is 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.
Locast is available for streaming at www.locast.org, app stores, TiVo, streaming service 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.