Locast Now Available in Columbus, Ohio

(Image credit: Locast)

Locast, which describes itself as "America’s only nonprofit, free, local broadcast TV digital translator streaming service," is now delivering 45 local TV channels via the internet—for free—to the 2.5 million residents living in Columbus, Ohio, TV market, which includes the cities of Bucyrus, Chillicothe, Marion, Mt. Vernon, Washington Court House and Zanesville. Columbus is Locast’s 34th market.

Thes more than 45 local TV channels in the Columbus designated market area (DMA), include WCMH NBC 4, WSYX ABC 6, WBNS CBS 10, WTTE FOX 28, PBS, PBS Kids, as well as DABL, Telemundo, Antenna, CourtTV, Movies, MeTV, TrueCrime, CW, Circle, BOUNCE, Quest, LAFF, COMET, HSN, GRIT, Charge!, and more.

Locast is accessible to viewers in 20 counties in the Columbus DMA including Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Union.

So-called “cord cutters,” who cancel their increasingly expensive pay-TV subscriptions, and “cord-nevers,” who have never subscribed to pay-TV services, represent a significant proportion of Locast users, the company said. 

Launched in 2018, Locast now has more than 2.8 million registered users nationwide in 34 markets—large and small—reaching more than half of the U.S. population.

Broadcasters have filed a lawsuit in New York District Court, claiming that Locast violates the Copyright Act of 1976, unlawfully retransmitting over the air signals via streaming, not unlike Aereo, which discontinued its service and filed for bankruptcy in 2014 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of broadcasters filing a similar lawsuit. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.