Networks Sue to Stop Streaming Service Offering Free TV Feeds

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The four major broadcast networks have filed a suit in federal court to shut down Locast, a nonprofit streaming service funded in part by AT&T and founded by a Dish Network lobbyist that offers their feeds to subscribers for no charge. CBS, Disney's ABC, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Fox argue that Locast is retransmitting the signals of their local TV stations without permission, in violation of copyright law. The fees that broadcasters receive from pay-TV distributors have become crucial to their long-term survival, and there is concern that if Locast grows in popularity, it could cut into that revenue stream. Locast has positioned itself as a free alternative to consumers who are tired of rising cable bills, in addition to serving as a distribution alternative for people who can’t get local TV signals through their antenna. In the lawsuit, the broadcasters argue that Locast is a pawn for AT&T and Dish, two of the largest pay-TV distributors in the country. The suit says Locast’s primary reason for existence is to help them avoid paying to carry broadcast content.

Networks Sue to Stop Streaming Service Offering Free TV Feeds Broadcast Networks Sue to Stop Free TV Streaming App Locast (The Wrap) Big Four Broadcasters File Suit Against Locast (B&C)