Locast, the nonprofit broadcast TV streaming service that’s a legal target of major US broadcasters, has turned a corner of sorts, according to founder and chairman David Goodfriend. Locast, a service that launched in January 2018 and is now available in 25 U.S. markets, has 1.7 million users nationwide. Locast also has enough paid donors in that group for the nonprofit to attain operational sustainability, he said.
The former Clinton aide and Dish attorney is the latest to go head-on against the major broadcast conglomerates over OTA streaming. You might want to bet on the defendant this time.
David Goodfriend, founder of controversial not-for-profit outfit Locast, said the parent companies of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox “waited too long” to sue him over the alleged theft of their signal. He also questioned why they didn’t seek a temporary restraining order to halt the two-year-old company’s operations, as they did in the case of Aereo years earlier.
Structured as a nonprofit, the start-up that streams over-the-air TV signals started by lawyer David Goodfriend aims to succeed where Aereo was litigated into oblivion. By giving away TV, Goodfriend is undercutting the licensing fees that major broadcasters charge the cable and satellite companies — a sum that will exceed $10 billion this year.
The FCC’s sports blackout rule is, in essence, one of three FCC bulwarks that help preserve broadcasters’ local exclusivity to their programming. Any loss in stations’ exclusivity leads to a loss of advertising income, and more important, a loss of muscle in their retransmission consent negotiations with cable and satellite. Local exclusivity, like the sports blackout rule, is fundamental to both of broadcasters’ revenue streams.