Viewers in the New York metro area can now stream 14 local broadcast channels free – whether or not they have a pay TV subscription.
Locast.org says it is operating under federal copyright law, “which expressly allows non-profits to retransmit a local broadcast signal within that broadcaster’s market.”
The non-profit in this case is the New York chapter of Sports Fans Coalition, which vows “to keep the promise of public access to local broadcasting — including … local news, weather, and sports– alive in the era of cord-cutting, changing broadcast signals, and internet video.”
Most immediately, Locast.org will allow users to stream this weekend’s NFL playoffs, but those hardly qualify as local New York sports. So our thoughts turn to baseball. With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training one month from tomorrow, and Locast.org’s website including an essay on “What it Means to be a Mets Fan,” let’s note that New York’s channel 11, WPIX-TV, will broadcast 25 Mets games (and 21 Yankee games) over the air this season. Here’s some historical perspective from the station’s marketing department:
In addition to WPIX, a CW affiliate, Locast.org’s 14 stations include the four major broadcast networks, Ion, MyNetworkTV, three public TV channels, two Spanish-language channels (Telemundo, UniMas), Justice Network, and a channel featuring infomercials and Korean content.
The service asks users to register to verify they live in the New York market (New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and “certain parts” of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania). But The Savvy Screener was able to view all the channels without logging in just by visiting locast.org.
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