The future of Locast

Hey all,
I saw this article yesterday and I didn't see anyone else posting about it on here and I thought I'd get everyone's thoughts.
Does anyone think Locast will win this case and be sticking around for the long term? They seem to be on solid legal ground standing but the broadcasters seem to have a feasible argument as well. I can see a scenario where Locast wins and then other streaming services that are paying the carrier fees drop those carriers and integrate Locast to save money. Or other companies following Locast's example and creating a service for locals in the same way. So I think that idea could hurt Locast, as far as the courts not wanting to open those flood gates.
I also can see the argument that Locast is no different from any other provider. Sure they offer it for free but if you want a good watching experience without ads you have to pay for it. I hope they don't lose though, I love having an affordable option to get my locals. An antenna and HDHR don't work in my area.

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Their business model was shaped specifically around the laws that we’re defined by the Supreme Court during the Aero trial.

It seems like they are, but the broadcasters are still going to spend money trying to crush them.

I don't understand the broadcaster beef. It's not like Locast is changing the content. The commercials still get seen. And more people actually see the networks. Sounds like harassment to me. There has to be more to this.

They also might have to do some updating when ATSC 3.0 goes fully national. So they might not survive the updated technology.

For some bizarre reason that I've never understood, OTA broadcasters get to use public spectrum and charge companies that rebroadcast that signal. And the OTA broadcasters can charge whatever the heck they want. That's why you get those stupid blackouts periodically of OTA stuff on your cable or satellite service.

Locast is using the fact that they are a not-for-profit to avoid paying those fees (at leas that's my understanding), so the OTA broadcasters are mad that someone figured out a way to not pay them. Which is fine with me. I don't think the OTA broadcasters should be allowed to charge for retransmission anyway. If you want to use public spectrum, then it should be free to rebroadcast. If the OTA broadcasters don't like that, they can become a cable channel and cut deals with the cable/satellite company to carry their channel like everyone else.


From How local TV stations plan to remain relevant as viewers shift to streaming

Total paid retransmission fees paid to station group owners grew from about $200 million in 2006 to more than $10 billion by 2018. They’re still rising. Research firm S&P Global expects fees to top $15 billion by 2023.

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I agree with that totally. Making money off something we pay taxes for, that is only good for that use is just wrong in my opinion.

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My concern is the amount of money the broadcasters stand to lose if Locast is allowed to continue. Disney has their hands in a lot of pockets. I can't imagine they won't do everything possible to shut Locast down.

I hope Locast loses, if not Networks will put their better content behind a paywall.

I love Locast and I'd hate it to go away. I did the math and for me to get a HDHomeRun and an antenna that would work for me it would cost me about $250/$300. That is over 3 1/2 years of Locast. I'd rather donate to Locast because it's impossible to know where technology will be in 3 years. The way things are trending I tend to believe most networks will have their own apps and traditional cable or even streaming services as we know them now will be completely different or gone.

I was thinking about an argument the broadcasters might have, take Peacock TV they offer a free tier with limited shows and ads. If you want to pay you can and get all the programming ad free for $10. Locast is doing something similar by giving you an option to watch it for free but you're interrupted every 10 minutes with donation advertisements. To get the best experience you have to pay (donate). Besides being labeled as a non-profit I don't really see the difference between the two. Like I said I love Locast and I'd prefer it to stick around but maybe it's better to start looking at other options in case they don't survive.

They already do and will continue to more and more. That is where the money is.
CBS, NBC, FOX, etc ALL already have annoying paywalled streaming services and already release exclusive content there only.
Like the new Star Trek series...ONLY on payed streaming.

Which has nothing to do with locast.

Online streaming of local OTA channels is MUST. Online streaming is the now and the future, the days of people buying antennas or hooking up to that cable tv coax are slowly going away and are already not popular.

Many people can not even use an antenna for various reasons, and online streaming is the only way. Locast in many people homes, is the ONLY way to get local stations.

My only major qualm with Locast is the shit low bitrate streams, and you have to pay $5 a month for that super sub par quality in order for it to be even useable a service not crippled by advert interrupts that send u back to the guide every 15min.
Maybe if it was a $1 a month I would find it acceptable for what the quality they offer.
(I mean, Hulu is only $6 a month and you got huge content library and they stream in FHD and 4K. So, in retrospect, $5 a month is quite high a cost, just to get maybe 50 some channels of very low bitrate quality, many you probably don't even want.)

Wait till they start putting sports, particularly NFL behind a paywall. Peacock is going to. Half of all broadcast fees go towards Sports, that's a lot of money

fine by me :laughing: I hate sports.
they can do that to the news as well.
make people pay to here about all the crap that happened to day, maybe that would force the news to be better and more accurate.

What do you watch on Locast?

Me, not much, only regular shows I have set to record via a Pass that is on OTA channels is SWAT, Family Guy, A.F.V. Which air, well, used to air new eps each week, but now, they air new ones every couple or few to several weeks apart, cause, of the pandemic slowing down productions i guess. Now, i can easy find the eps online via torrents if i really wanted, or if my DVR failed to record them so reason.

My other user, who has her own DVR server now, my elderly mother, she watches news, and soaps...lots of soaps, and other random shows, all day long. So she is the main user of the OTA channels. And is NOT happy when the tv breaks up or is not watchable.

Some here keep spitting the term "wife factor" when it comes to making things work right and easy.....well, same thing applies here, just not a spouse.

The issue i started having of signal interference, only noticed when i was first testing out the new HDHR streaming feature they added, made me start to use Locast as a secondary source for the OTA channels, a source that does not break up or have issues with local interferacance.

I then realized, that Locast would be perfect for my mothers DVR to use as its recording source, instead of the HDHR, as it would produce much smaller files, and she would not be able to tell or care about the quality difference. Now, it would be 2GB a week, not 20GB of recordings she insists on keeping and putting on flash drives or external hard drives. (it took me years to go through and mange to throw out a storage unit full of boxes of VHS tapes, many 25+yrs old of her tv recordings) its the 21st century version of this, 12 or so multi TB external hard drives...but at least they take up little physical space. :expressionless:

It matters NOT what any of you think. This is a complex legal battle being fought out in the highest courts by corporations with lots of money to spend on lawyers. Locast has a right to exist based on court interpretations of a law written back in the 1950s. The 1050s law was written to resolve an entirely different situation in a time when there wasn't a person on earth who could have imagined the Internet. The will of the people and logic play no part in the final decision. It is totally up to how the courts interpret the 1950s law.

As with most complex issues of interpreting existing laws, Congress could easily solve the problem by updating the law to reflect modern technology. However, Congress is scared of offending big money contributors, and scared of offending voters, so they do nothing.


Just follow the money and you'll get your answers.

I believe Dish is an investor in Locast.

Maybe your question was for someone else but I will answer. I mainly got it for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and KTLA and one other. The first 4 are now provided by Channels App (all 4 were not supported until after I started with LOCAST). Actually Channels added KTLA News some time back before LOCAST. However, my wife lives here too and she likes a number of the old shows on a number of the other channels. I think she could get some of the shows without commercials thru other sources but she does not care. Anyway, the $5 per month is worth it to me to not have to deal with it. I believe you should be able to stream anything that is FREE OTA with an antenna.


Speaking as an attorney, but not being familiar with this area of law, since locast fit itself within the nonprofit exception, and since it does not resell the product, I don’t understand why it is exposed. However, the packagers and streaming services who want to implement Locast into their product which they then sell for a profit are problematic. I’m not sure why that is or should be Locast’s problem however. We have an antenna, but once Locastro came available here, I set up channels w Locast. The antenna is great, the picture is beautiful, but it’s very easy for it to go out of adjustment due to wind, bad weather, etc.

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