Locast Continues to Grow Its Free Local Streaming Service, Now Available in Seattle

Locast, the non-profit digital translator service, announced it has have now moved into the Pacific northwest and is available in the Seattle and Tacoma areas starting today. Users with a broadband connection in Seattle can now view their local broadcast television channels for free using the Locast app or on www.locast.org. The expansion means Locast is now available in 16 markets.

“Seattle residents understand the importance of local weather and emergency broadcast information,” said David Goodfriend, founder of Locast. “Seattle also is a tech-savvy community that appreciates how online and wireless platforms can enhance the availability of critical weather and safety information provided by traditional local broadcasters in the public interest.”

The expansion into Washington shows that Locast is continuing to grow despite being tangled in a lawsuit with ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS. In June, Locast became available in the west, giving viewers living in San Francisco and Los Angeles access to major locals like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, The CW, and MyNetworkTV — as well as PBS, PBS Kids, and other OTA channels like Cozi and MeTV. Earlier this month, the service announced that it had expanded into Atlanta and Phoenix.

The service has been in some legal hot waters however, with ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS filing a violation of copyright lawsuit against them. The networks argued 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 argued that if Locast, is truly a nonprofit, and not a pawn for AT&T and Dish, then there is no reason to require registration or gather its own consumer data—both of which Locast currently does.

Not to be intimidated, Locast countersuedthe networks, accusing the 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.