Locast launches TiVo app

TV antenna
Locast streams most full-power broadcast television stations in a market for free but it asks its users for donations. (Pixabay)

Locast, a service that provides streaming access to local broadcast channels, now has an app on TiVo’s over-the-air set-top boxes.

Locast, which is run by non-profit Sports Fans Coalition NY (SFCNY), is also available on iOS devices, Apple TV, Android devices, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Dish Network’s Hopper, DirecTV and on the web.

“TiVo has been an innovator in video delivery for decades and now is enhancing its OTA delivery of local broadcast channels by partnering with Locast,” said SFCNY Chairman David Goodfriend in a statement. “Just as Americans can watch their local broadcast TV stations for free through the TiVo OTA equipment, with Locast they can do that and more, watching local broadcast TV on their mobile devices within their local market, just as Congress intended.”

Locast is currently available in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Boston, Washington, D.C., Denver, Baltimore, and in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Rapid City, South Dakota.

RELATED: Fox CEO accuses Locast of ‘theft’ during earnings call

Locast streams most full-power broadcast television stations in a market for free but it asks its users for donations. The service operates under the copyright statute that allows non-profit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster.

Though Locast claims its service is perfectly legal, major broadcasters like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC have pushed back against it. Last month, the broadcasters filed the lawsuit with the United States District Court in Southern New York against Goodfriend and SFCNY. The broadcasters are asking the court to prohibit Locast from operating its service, and to award damages connected to Locast’s operations. It accuses Locast of operating with its own commercial benefit in mind, as well as the commercial benefit of large pay TV operators including DirecTV and Dish Network.

“Locast is not the Robin Hood of television; instead, Locast’s founding, funding, and operations reveal its decidedly commercial purposes,” the lawsuit reads.

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Locast said it now offers more than 45 local TV channels for free in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater TV market in Florida.