Locast, the nonprofit local broadcast TV streaming service, is now delivering a dozen local TV channels via the internet across Puerto Rico, bringing important local news, weather and storm coverage, emergency information, sports, and entertainment programming to internet-connected devices.
The announcement was made as Puerto Rico prepares to protect its 78 municipalities from COVID-19 and the approaching summer hurricane season.
“Now more than ever, Puerto Ricans will seek emergency updates and disaster information from their local TV news, which delivers critical updates on coronavirus and lockdowns, earthquakes, and hurricanes,” said Locast Founder and Chairman David Goodfriend. “Locast fills the communications gap by delivering local TV channels via the internet to phones, tablets, computers, and media players, even when other types of communications infrastructure are damaged. As long as local TV stations are broadcasting, Locast will be a lifeline to 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico.”
Viewers in the Puerto Rico Designated Market Area (DMA) using internet-connected devices can watch, for free, their locally produced broadcast TV in high definition via the Locast app or at www.locast.org. Locast also offers multi-language support by giving Spanish-language access to the Locast app’s user-interface, log-in screens, and program guide.
In addition to Puerto Rico, Locast delivers local TV channels via the internet as a public service in 17 U.S. cities and has more than one million users, including people who can’t get local channels through an antenna or can’t afford a pay-TV subscription. The Puerto Rico channel lineup includes popular TV stations such as Telemundo, Univision, WAPA, MegaTV, WIPR public TV, RTVE news from Spain and more.
Locast operates under the Copyright Act of 1976 that allows nonprofit translator services to rebroadcast local stations without receiving a copyright license from the broadcaster. The federal statute (17 U.S.C. 111(a)(5)) states that a nonprofit organization may retransmit a local broadcast signal and even collect a fee to cover the cost of operations. Locast asks viewers to donate as little as $5 per month to help cover operating costs. The donation is voluntary and not required to view local TV channels from Locast.