Locast Goes Live in Seattle

SEATTLE—Locast is now servicing another market, announcing that it has launched in Seattle, covering the Seattle-Tacoma DMA. This is the 16th market to add Locast services.

“November tends to be the rainiest month of the year in Seattle, so local weather reports mean more to commuters, families and business travelers right now,” said David Goodfriend, founder of Locast. “Here’s a forecast for our friends in Seattle: expect more rain, but better access to your local news, weather and other critical information with Locast.”

Locast is a nonprofit service launched by the Sports Fan Coalition that rebroadcasts local stations for free in an effort to ensure that viewers do not lose access to the critical information and programming offered by their local channels during potential blackouts that stem from retransmission disputes. It is able to do this due to copyright statute that exempts nonprofits from needing a license from broadcasters.

However, Locast’s claim as a nonprofit is up for debate as the four major broadcasters have filed a lawsuit saying that Locast is not eligible for that copyright exemption, making the argument that Locast is commercially-driven.

Despite the lawsuit, Locast is continuing its expansion. This announcement follows one just a few weeks ago that the service launched in Atlanta and Phoenix, and Goodfriend says they hope to provide Locast to the top 20 markets by the end of the year, while aiming to eventually roll it out to all 210 markets.