Locast has launched in its 32nd market. The free streaming service is delivering over two dozen local channels to residents of the northeastern Tennessee cities of Bristol, Johnson City, and Kingsport, as well as the surrounding rural area bordering Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
Locast offers local broadcast TV via the internet for free, though the service will frequently ask for a $5 donation until that donation is set up by the user. Locast says that offering the channels is a public service offering news, weather, sports, entertainment, and emergency information to viewers via internet connected devices.
Locast is bringing 27 local TV channels to Tri-Cities residents, including WCYB NBC 5, WEMT FOX 39, WJHL ABC/CBS 11, as well as DABL, Antenna, CourtTV, Mystery, MeTV, TrueCrime, the CW, Grio, BOUNCE, Quest, LAFF, COMET, ION, GRIT, Charge!, and more.
The service is available in 19 counties in the Tri-Cities DMA including Leslie and Letcher counties in Kentucky; Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in Tennessee; and Bristol City, Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Norton City, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington, and Wise counties in Virginia.
Locast partnered with Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) to determine the location of the Locast data server. “BTES is a municipal-owned utility that has communication services available to more than 33,000 customers in a 280-square-mile service area in the City of Bristol and Sullivan County, Tennessee. We’re pleased to assist Locast in its not-for-profit mission of delivering local TV channels via the Internet to those who cannot afford pay TV or cannot receive an over-the-air signal due to the topography found in northeastern Tennessee,” said Mike Browder, CEO of BTES.
“At Locast, we understand the challenges consumers face when trying to watch their local off-air broadcast TV channels in an area with steep mountains, rolling hills and valleys like those surrounding the Tri-Cities,” said David Goodfriend, founder and chairman of Locast. “We’re pleased to have BTES aid in our mission by providing us the ideal data center for delivering dozens of local news, weather, sports and other TV channels via the internet to consumers’ phones, tablets, laptops or streaming media devices.”