Locast, the New York-based non-profit organization that relies on a quirk of copyright laws to rebroadcast TV stations over the internet, has added Sioux City, Iowa as its 17th broadcast TV market.
To view local TV stations, persons living in the Sioux City market area (DMA) can use an app on their streaming device such as Roku. The Sioux City lineup will include primary network affiliates KCAU, KTIV, KPHH, and Iowa Public Television as well as their digital secondary channels.
Earlier this winter Locast also announced that it had launched in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota market, The organization relies on donations to fund operations as well as equipment needed to receive and process TV signals. Viewers who use the Locast app are also asked to make a donation to help fund the service.
The arrival of Locast for the Sioux City market may give cable operators in the area, including several municipal utilities, some leverage in the looming retransmission consent fight at the end of the year. Broadcasters are expected to ask for large increases in fees when existing agreements expire, perhaps up to 50%. If an operator decided not to pay those increases, it could ease the pain for consumers by educating them on Locast.
While Locast operates under their interpretation of US Copyright law that allows for non-profit translator services to rebroadcast local TV stations without receiving a copyright license, that interpretation is currently being challenged in court by the major networks.
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