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Locast Expands to Wilkes Barre-Scranton as it Reaches 25 Markets, 1.7 Million Users

Stephanie Sengwe

Locast is now available in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton-Hazleton TV market. The nonprofit local broadcast TV streaming service announced they are now available in 17 additional counties. This is the streamer’s 25th market, making Locast available to more than 148 million people across the nation.

Locast delivers 16 local TV channels in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton designated market area (DMA), including WNEP ABC 16, WBRE NBC 28, WYOU CBS 22, WOLF FOX 56, PBS, PBS Kids, Antenna TV, The CW, Bounce, Mystery, LAFF, True Crime, and more.

The service lets you stream 15 minutes at a time for free, but requires a minimum of $5 monthly donation to stream uninterrupted. The company says that it now has 1.7 million users.

“For the first time, more than 1.5 million residents in Wilkes Barre and the surrounding area will be able to watch all of their local TV stations on their phones, tablets, laptops or streaming media devices,” said Locast Founder and Chairman David Goodfriend. “When considering health, safety, or participation in our democracy through voting, Locast performs a critical public service by increasing access to local broadcast channels. This is especially important during this year’s election in a swing state like Pennsylvania.”

This comes just one-day after expanding to the Indianapolis market.

This year alone, Locast has expanded into Puerto Rico, Florida, Minnesota and Wisconsin markets. In September, Locast became accessible for TiVo Stream 4K users in the markets it covers.

Since last July, Locast has been battling ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, which claim the service is in violation of copyright laws. In their lawsuit, the networks argue that when Locast retransmits their signals, it strips out vital information, including Nielsen codes that are used to measure ratings. In addition, the networks also claim that if Locast is truly a nonprofit, and not helping AT&T and Dish, then there is no reason to require registration or gather its own consumer data — both of which Locast currently does.

In a countersuit filed in September, Locast accused ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS of collusion. Locast claimed the networks interfered in a potential partnership with YouTube TV by disallowing it to provide access or Google would be “punished by the big four broadcasters.” The broadcasters — which own cable channels such as ESPN, Bravo, Fox News and Showtime — could band together and pressure Google as well as other pay-TV operators by refusing to sell their cable channels, Locast suggested.