Locast is now available in the Minneapolis and St. Paul market in Minnesota. The latest expansion means the local live TV streaming service is now officially available in twenty-two cities in the United States, although the service is still currently the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.
Locast offers access to local live TV channels for free. While these channels are free to access anyway, the difference is Locast delivers them to consumers over the internet, removing the need for additional hardware, including an antenna. However, the service has found itself under the legal spotlight with a selection of channel owners trying to get the service shut down. Locast defends its right to provide access to content without a licence agreement through protection under the Copyright Act of 1976.
According to the announcement, Locast is now available to more than 4 million Minnesotans with 48 local TV channels in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market now streaming through the service. Overall, Locast says the latest expansion has seen the service go live in more than 50 counties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul designated market area, as well as seven counties in western Wisconsin. Locast now claims to have more than 1.4 million users, and is available to more than 139 million viewers in 22 TV markets in the US.
Getting started with Locast in Minnesota
With Locast now available in more locations, an increased number of consumers will likely be considering whether this is the right service for them. Determining that requires an understanding of how the service works.
Locast operates as a not-for-profit service and therefore, does not charge consumers for access to the service. Instead, they can simply set up a free account and either download the app or access the service through the main website. Once up and running, consumers are able to view and tune in to their local live TV stations using their internet connection.
While Locast is technically free, the service does rely on donations to remain operational. Those who wish to contribute have the option to donate as little as $5. However, it should be noted that this is not a one-time donation, but a monthly recurring payment.
Although similar in principle to a monthly subscription, the fee is optional and not required to access the service. Furthermore, Locast states the fee is to help cover the cost of operations and expand into new markets, as it has done today in Minnesota.