With 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 approaching, its retrans blackout season.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, David Goodfriend, founder of nonprofit local broadcast streaming service Locast, is beating the drum for his platform as a cord-cutting alternative should, say, your favorite NFL team gets blacked out on your pay TV service.
“In places that are hit by this [type of] dispute, I would say, ‘Don't you think it's time to cut the cord altogether?” Goodfriend told the Houston Chronicle. “Forget about DirecTV. Forget about Dish. Forget about cable. It's only going to get more expensive. It's only going to be more disruptive.
“Do yourself a favor and cut the cord,” Goodfriend added. “Sign up for Locast, sign up for some streaming services and save yourself the money and the hassle. That would be my advice.”
Locast is currently serving 1.8 million users in 25 domestic markets in which it streams local stations. The company doesn’t charge customers, but it does seek donations starting at $5 a month. (Users who don’t pay at least that are subject to an every-15-minute barrage of commercial fundraising come-ons.) With Locast currently battling the major broadcasters in federal court for the right to exist, the nonprofit is careful to contextualize Goodfriend’s comments.
Goodfriend “isn’t taking either side of these retrans fights,” a Locast press rep told Next TV. Rather, he’s merely advocating for consumers to cut the cord.
“It used to be that we had a philosophy in this country that everybody was supposed to be able to get free local media in the form of broadcasting,” Goodfriend said. “And somewhere along the line, we lost that. We broke that social contract.”
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