SIOUX CITY, Iowa, Jan. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Locast, the nonprofit streaming service serving viewers unable to tune-in their local off-air TV channels, is now streaming 20 local TV channels in Sioux City, Iowa, including local news, weather, emergency information, sports, and entertainment programming available on broadcast TV.
Viewers in the Sioux City Designated Market Area (DMA) using Internet-connected devices can now watch, for free, their locally produced broadcast TV in high definition via the Locast app or at www.locast.org. The launch of Locast in Sioux City takes place ahead of the nation’s first Presidential caucuses in Iowa Feb. 3 and as rate increases start to roll out for tens of millions of cable and satellite TV customers nationwide.
For decades, many residents in Sioux City have been unable to receive their free local TV channels over-the-air due to terrain or buildings blocking their signals. Other viewers simply can’t afford to pay the rising rates charged by cable and satellite TV providers to receive their free over-the-air local channels. And some want to watch their local channels on their mobile devices away from their home. Locast solves these problems by making it free and convenient for Sioux City viewers to watch their local TV channels via internet-connected computers, media players, phones or tablets.
Locast offers an easy-to-read TV guide for viewing KCAU ABC 9, KTIV NBC 4, and KPTH FOX 44/KMEG CBS 14 as well as KUSD PBS. Additional channels include ION, LAFF, BOUNCE, DABL, Stadium, TBD., Comet, MeTV, The CW, Charge!, Court TV Mystery, Escape, PBS Kids, PBS World, and PBS Create.
“As a nonprofit, we’re using the power of the internet to ensure Sioux City viewers have full access to their publicly available local TV channels for free, a feat that has proved challenging for local broadcasters,” said Locast founder David Goodfriend. “Our mission is similar to the thousands of local translator stations that boost over-the-air TV signals to hard-to-reach areas. With the support of donations from viewers, we hope to expand into more cities soon. This is especially essential given Iowa’s importance in the 2020 presidential primaries and general election.”
Locast now provides a public service in 17 U.S. cities, reaching more than 41 million viewers.
Locast asks viewers to donate as little as $5 per month to help cover operating costs. The donation is voluntary and not required to view local TV channels from Locast. Donation requests and user contribution rates for Locast are similar to those requested by public TV and radio.
Locast operates under the Copyright Act of 1976 that allows nonprofit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster. Locast supports the efforts and Congressional mandate of local broadcasters to transmit their TV signals to every member of the public. The federal statute (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)) states that a nonprofit organization may retransmit a local broadcast signal and even collect a fee to cover the cost of operations.
For more information or to sign up for free for Locast, visit www.locast.org. Follow Locast on Facebook and on Twitter @LocastOrg.