If you see with the help of streaming Locast your local channels for free, you need to start looking for an alternative to find your local NBC, ABC, FOX and CBS affiliates, at least for the moment. The donation-supported streaming service announced on Thursday, September 2, 2021, that it was immediately suspended from operations. Team Clark is here for both, to explain what happens with Locast and to help you find some alternatives to watch your local channels without committing crimes.
Why is it suspending operations
If you’ve been keeping an eye on your things and busy streaming local news, you might be wondering what’s going on with Locast and why you can’t use the service anymore. The streaming service has been facing a legal battle for more than two years, defending its right to transmit broadcast signals. A court ruled earlier this week that it has reached a decision to suspend operations indefinitely. Here the problems:
- Locast was sued by national media companies for copyright infringement. A group of companies that own local affiliate markets for NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX across the country sued Locast for what they consider inappropriate use of its broadcasts. Locast unsuccessfully claimed that it was protected as a non-profit and was seeking donations in exchange for its service.
- A New York judge’s decision could have turned things around for Locast. On Tuesday, Southern District of New York Judge Louis Stanton ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in this case, saying Locast could no longer solicit donations for its service. Locast complied and stopped receiving donations on Wednesday.
So not only is the legality of Locast’s entire business model on trial, the company has lost its source of revenue (user donations). All of this led to Locast’s decision to stop streaming operations for local channels, which were accessible to 55% of the US population. If you try to access Locast via streaming device, like Roku, you will probably see a message before returning to the home screen of your device.
What Locast Says About the Effects of the Court’s Decision
Locast has been very proactive in its disagreement with the court’s decision. It has been in regular contact with its users since the court ruling on that Tuesday, August 31. That included a message Wednesday night announcing that Locast would no longer ask for user donations. On Thursday morning, Locast issued the following statement to its users assisted by mail: “As a non-profit, Locast was designed from the ground up to operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law, but in response to failures. recent court reports, with which we respectfully disagree, we have hereby suspended operations, immediately. Thanks.”.
What users can do to watch local channels in the meantime
As Locast may be able to return to business at some point in the future, many streamers are now searching for a new way to appreciate local channels. The most economical solutions include:
- Buy an antenna. This will be something that you will only buy once for the broadcast of your local channels. The cost of these is usually directly related to how far they need to go to tune the signal. If you live in a rural area away from TV broadcast towers, it could be expensive.
- Try to get some free services. Amazon Fire News is a free local news alternative for streamers who own Amazon Fire TV. NewsON is another app that you could download for local news. It is important to note that these services usually offer only programming news. Which means that you may not be able to watch your favorite shows with this method.
Another alternative, you could pay for streaming to have your local channels. YouTube TV, which is priced at $ 65 / mo, is a Team Clark favorite when it comes to streaming, offering local channels from all major channels as part of the base package.