Locast said that it has surpassed 2.3 million registered users for its nonprofit streaming service that provides local broadcast channels to consumers.
The service, which operates on voluntary donations of $5 and above from its users, also announced expansion into Madison, Wisconsin, ahead of Saturday’s big NFL playoff matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams, which will be broadcast by FOX.
The expansion opens Locast up to 650,000 additional homes.
Locast delivers more than 30 local TV channels in the Madison designated market area (DMA), including WISC-TV CBS News 3, WMTV NBC 15, WKOW ABC Ch. 27, WMSN FOX Ch. 47, PBS Wisconsin and PBS Kids as well as CourtTV, AntennaTV, The CW, Bounce, Movies!, LAFF, Mystery, Grit, ION, CometTV, True Crime, Charge! and Azteca America.
Locast is accessible to viewers in 11 counties in the Madison DMA including Columbia, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, Marquette, Richland, Rock, and Sauk.
Asked about the overall Locast business model, a company rep said only a small portion of registered users are donating at this point. However, donations have been robust enough to allow the service, founded by attorney and consumer advocate David Goodfriend and his Sports Fans Coalition, to keep expanding to its 26th market.
“I was born and raised in Madison and graduated from Madison West High School and Beloit College,” said Goodfriend, in a statement. “I volunteered at the local NBC and PBS affiliates as a teenager. So launching Locast in my hometown means a lot to me personally.”
Goodfriend has declared Locast’s business model of streaming the broadcast feeds of local stations to consumers legal under the Copyright Act of 1976. He was unavailable Friday to update Next TV on the state of Locast’s ongoing legal battle with the major broadcasters.
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