Locast, the controversial service that enables streaming access to local broadcast channels, is now available through TiVo’s over-the-air set-top boxes.
The Locast app was already available on DirecTV, Apple iOS, AppleTV, Android, AndroidTV, Roku, Amazon Firestick, Hopper, and a variety of web browser platforms.
It makes most local channels available in many markets, including New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota.
Locast, operating under a copyright law that allows nonprofit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster, does not pay carriage or licensing fees to stations.
“With Locast, critical information on broadcast TV is available anytime, anywhere to the public on numerous platforms, now including TIVO,” stated David Goodfriend, chairman of Sports Fans Coalition NY (SFCNY), the nonprofit that runs Locast. “Just as Americans can watch their local broadcast TV stations for free through the TiVo OTA equipment,” he added, “with Locast they can do that and more, watching local broadcast TV on their mobile devices within their local market, just as Congress intended.”
The Big Four broadcasters filed a suit against Locast in July, arguing in part that “Locast is not a public service devoted to viewers whose reception is affected by tall building[s]… instead, Locast’s founding, funding and operations reveal its decidedly commercial purposes.”The suit also asserts that part of Locast’s purpose is to help big pay-TV operators such as Dish Network and DirecTV.
DirecTV parent AT&T made a $500,000 donation to Locast in May.