Locast Streaming Service Set To Expand

The Locast streaming service, operated by the nonprofit Sports Fans Coalition, will expand to Dallas, Texas, and other top 10 markets in the coming weeks, the organization says.

Locast streams local broadcast TV stations to users over the internet. Users can choose to pay a monthly donation to the coalition, but are not required to do so.

Locast launched in New York in January ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics and the NFL playoffs. At the time, it faced an uncertain legal future, with the National Association of Broadcasters stating: “We are deeply skeptical that this service will survive legal scrutiny where its predecessors have failed.”

Those predecessors include Aereo and FilmOn, which also retransmit local broadcast signals to customers.

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However, Locast’s legal loophole — it is a nonprofit and uses a statute that allows nonprofits to rebroadcast local broadcast signals to help boost signals — is holding up, spurring the expansion. 

Now it will launch ahead of the NFL season, letting fans in local markets stream games, even if they don’t pay for TV or have an antenna.

“Texas taxpayers helped to pay for the stadiums, roads, ramps and rights-of-way that make the games possible; they own the public airwaves that carry the games on TV. They deserve to watch their home team play, even if they can’t get an over-the-air broadcast signal or don’t want to pay for cable or satellite,” SFCNY chairman David Goodfriend says.

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