The main broadcast networks today sued the makers of Locast, a nonprofit group that gives free on-line entry to broadcast TV stations. The lawsuit filed by ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC seeks financial damages and an everlasting injunction that might shut Locast down.
Broadcast TV networks can be found at no cost over the air with an antenna. However, promoting the rights to retransmit these signals in different ways is a big enterprise. Broadcasters reportedly collected $10.1 billion in 2018 via retransmission charges they cost cable and satellite TV corporations.
TV suppliers routinely pass this price along to customers in the form of “Broadcast TV” charges. Pay-TV suppliers use these charges to lift the actual price of service above their marketed costs and to boost customers’ costs even while they’re under contract. Pay-TV suppliers have additionally been refusing broadcasters’ demands to pay even higher charges, and broadcast channels have frequently been blacked out on cable and satellite TV systems as a result.TV subscribers can take care of blackouts by using an antenna—or a service like Locast. Whereas Locast is a nonprofit, the broadcasters argue that it is actually bankrolled by the satellite TV industry. DirecTV owner AT&T notably donated $500,000 to Locast, and Locast’s founder has ties to Dish Network.
Locast says it’s on a mission to help TV viewers to get simpler access to channels which might be alleged to be free.