The local TV via IP service that the NAB and the Big Four TV networks despise for what they assail as a guise is entering its 31st market.
Starting March 19, viewers across the Pacific Northwest’s second-largest market can stream 39 local broadcast channels through a service operated by a non-profit entity that’s rapidly expanding across the U.S.
In an e-mail sent Wednesday to its followers, Locast revealed that Portland, Ore., is its newest market — an addition that comes as the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament (“March Madness”) commences on ViacomCBS-owned properties and CBS affiliates, such as KOIN-6, owned by Nexstar Media Group.
Also viewable: Nexstar’s home for The CW Network in Portland, KRCW-32; Meredith Local Media‘s FOX affiliate, and MyNetwork TV sibling, KPTV-12 and KPDX-TV; Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s ABC affiliate, KATU-2; public media giant OPB‘s local PBS member station; and TEGNA‘s dominant NBC affiliate, KGW-8. Also available: ION Network; local feeds for Telemundo, Univision and Azteca América; and several digital multicast offerings.
The service is geo-fenced: If you’re outside of the Portland DMA as determined by your location services information, you can’t watch the stations on the 39-channel lineup.
The Portland DMA includes Clark County, Wash.; and extends within Portland to the capital, Salem, and to coastal communities including Astoria, where classic films “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” were filmed.
More market additions are on the way.
“We continue to work hard to launch more markets so stay tuned,” Locast said.
It also took care in noting that Locast is “a nonprofit” and relies on user donations “of just $5 per month” to support the ongoing operations and expansion of its “nonprofit” service.
As a non-profit, Locast believes it operates outside the scope of retransmission consent. That’s irksome to the NAB and every broadcast TV network, as their affiliates and owned stations are increasingly reliant on retransmission consent fees to offset a decline in advertising stemmed from the rise of local digital media solutions.