Locast offers local channels airing conference playoff football games Sunday.
Nonprofit Locast is only service to stream all local TV channels – for free – over internet.
Charlotte, NC – Jan. 22, 2021 – Locast, America’s only nonprofit, free, local broadcast TV digital translator streaming service, is delivering 45 local TV channels via the internet – for free – to the more than 3.2 million residents living in the greater Charlotte and Statesville TV market in North Carolina, starting today.
For the first time, residents in Charlotte and its surrounding cities – including Statesville – will be able to watch all of their local TV stations via the Internet on their phones, tablets, laptops, or streaming media devices. 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. Through its local TV channel service, Locast offers this Sunday’s pro-football conference playoff games.
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 45 local TV channels in the Charlotte-Statesville designated market area (DMA), including WCNC NBC 36, WJZY FOX 46, WSOC ABC 9, WBTV CBS 3, PBS and PBS Kids as well as CourtTV Mystery, AntennaTV, Telemundo, Circle, The CW, BOUNCE, Movies!, LAFF, Mystery, ION, GRIT, True Crime, Charge!, and more.
Locast is accessible to viewers in 22 counties in the Charlotte-Statesville DMA including Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, Union, Watauga, and four counties in South Carolina: Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster and York.
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 and fought 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.
Locast has more than 2.3 million registered users nationwide in 28 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.