Locast Expands Outlets for Free Online TV

Locast, the free over-the-air broadcast TV streaming service said it has added iPad, Apple TV and Android TV to the devices/platforms on which it is now available.

That is in addition to Apple iOS, Android, Roku and Hopper, as well as various browser platforms.

Locast, which launched last year, does not have to get a TV station's permission.

Also Read: Locast Yet to Draw Legal Fire

To stream the TV signals without payment or permission, Locast.org (a contraction of “local” and “broadcast”) is relying on Title 17, Chapter 1, section 111 a)5 of the Copyright Act — which, for those without a copy handy, covers exemptions from exclusive rights to broadcast transmissions. It grants that exemption if “the secondary transmission is not made by a cable system, but is made by a governmental body, or other nonprofit organization, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage, and without charge to the recipients of the secondary transmission other than assessments necessary to defray the actual and reasonable costs of maintaining and operating the secondary transmission service.”

While it must remain nonprofit to continue to be exempt from having to negotiate a copyright license, it also needs money to keep expanding.

Also Read: Locast Launching in Houston

“In 2019, we hope to launch Locast.org in many other top-20 markets,” said founder David Goodfriend. “However, our biggest obstacle is funding. This is why we’re asking users to contribute just five dollars per month.” Goodfriend added. “If everyone gave just five dollars each month, Locast would be fully sustainable and could eventually reach all 210 markets.”

The service is currently available in New York, Chicago, Houston. Dallas, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Also Read: Locast: Everything You Need to Know

Broadcasters and studios have yet to push back on the service as they have on other TV station streaming services like Aereo and FilmOn X

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.