Free streaming broadcast TV service Locast launches in Los Angeles, San Francisco

San Francisco skyline
Locast does not charge fees for its service but it does ask for donations to help fund its continued expansion into new markets. (Pixabay)

Locast, a free streaming service that provides access to local broadcast channels, launched its service in two new markets: Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The company said it will be streaming more than 40 channels in each of the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets. Earlier this year, Locast added Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to its list of existing service markets, which also include New York City, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Philadelphia.

“We’ve been marching westward, and we couldn’t be more excited that we’ve hit the Pacific,” said David Goodfriend, founder of Locast, in a statement. “Now, anyone located in Los Angeles or San Francisco can get their over-the-air local broadcast station’s news, weather, emergency information, or sports programming online without paying an arm and a leg for cable, satellite or subscription OTT service fees.”

RELATED: Locast expands its local broadcast TV streaming service to Apple TV, Android TV

Locast does not charge fees for its service, but it does ask for donations to help fund its continued expansion into new markets.

“In 2019, we hope to launch in many other top-20 markets,” said Goodfriend. “However, our biggest obstacle is funding. This is why we’re asking users to contribute just five dollars per month. If everyone gave just five dollars each month, Locast would be fully sustainable, and could eventually reach all 210 markets.”

Locast, which launched in January 2018, streams full-power broadcast channels in a local markets to anyone with an Internet connection located within the relevant Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA). The company operates for free under a copyright statute that allows non-profit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster.