LocalBTV, a free streaming service that gives customers access to local channels without an antenna, has added hyper-local Community Channels this year. Now you can watch high school broadcasts as well as public access and other new channels, which will expand in 2022. James Long, the CEO of Didja, the company that operates LocalBTV, reported that they hope to expand the service to 100 markets by the end of next year.
Following the shutdown of Locast, LocalBTV seemed like the suitable free alternative. Locast had been ordered to permanently shut down amid a legal battle with the “Big Four” broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox). Although LocalBTV would be a lot better off with these channels within their service, it’s not looking like it will happen any time soon. But Long does think this may be a possibility in the future.
In 2017, Long joined the company as he saw an opportunity in streaming local TV channels. “We successfully predicted a resurgence of broadcast TV, which has been happening for three to four years,” he said in an interview with Fast Company. “We just use the public internet to connect to the public airwaves… We’re basically an antenna.” He added, “We’re really an infrastructure company… We’re plumbers. We’re the fastest, simplest, lowest-cost way to get a local video to a local home.”
In November, Didja’s free broadcast TV streaming app added two more markets: Houston and Nashville. LocalBTV offers PBS, rerun-centric digital subnetworks, like Cozi and Buzzr, and numerous foreign language stations which are responsible for being the biggest source of growth. To date, there are local channels available in 19 U.S. markets with a total of over 30 to 40 local news and entertainment channels in multiple languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, among others.
Also, Cloud-based DVR is available with 1TB of storage or 300 hours of programming. Viewers can connect to the following streaming devices: Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, as well as Google Chromecast or AirPlay. It is also available on mobile or your web browser.
LocalBTV is available in the following markets:
- Bay Area
- Southern California
- San Diego
- New York City
- Las Vegas
- Palm Beach