Locast rolls out to Cleveland, bringing service to 30 TV markets

Streaming service Locast is expanding once again, bringing its local TV service to viewers in Cleveland, the company announced on Wednesday.

The rollout is the 30th launch by Locast since it started operations in early 2018.

Locast offers live streams of local broadcast stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, the CW, PBS and others. The company operates as a not-for-profit and exploits a loophole in federal copyright law that allows organizations to relay broadcast TV signals without compensating the owners of those stations.

The company has found an unusual ally in pay television companies, including AT&T and Dish Network, who have promoted Locast as an alternative to viewers during carriage disputes with station owners. Some have integrated the Locast app within their own Internet-connected set-top boxes.

Locast doesn’t offer its services everywhere, instead bringing on markets where it makes financial sense to do so (Locast asks viewers to donate $5 a month and interrupts their streams every 15 minutes until they fork over the cash). As of Wednesday, the company says it now serves TV viewers in half of the United States.