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Locast is now live in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a result, residents in Charlotte now have the option of streaming local live TV over the internet for free. Although the service’s expansion slowed in the last few months of 2020, this is the second location confirmed as a Locast-supported area in January, 2021.
Accessing local live TV news, sports and weather over the internet has become increasingly harder in recent months. While a number of live TV streaming services do provide access to local channels, they also have been reducing the number of locals that are supported. This is particularly true for local channels owned by Sinclair, with both Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV two notable examples of services that have dropped local channels and affiliates after carriage disputes.
Locast can be a solution to the local live TV issue and for those based in Charlotte, they now have the option of giving the service a try. According to Locast, the streaming service is now available in 22 counties in the Charlotte-Statesville designated market area (DMA). The market areas now supported include, Alexander, Anson, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Richmond, Rowan, Stanly, Union, and Watauga. In addition to Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster and York in South Carolina.
With the support now live, residents in the Charlotte-Statesville designated market area now have the option of tuning in to 45 local TV channels, including WCNC NBC 36, WJZY FOX 46, WSOC ABC 9, WBTV CBS 3, and PBS, among others.
Getting started with Locast
For anyone living in any of these counties and now looking to get started with streaming Locast, there are some caveats to be aware of. The main one is that Locast operates on a donation basis. Technically, the service can be accessed for free, but some users have complained about a less than ideal streaming experience when using the free version.
With the donation system, Locast accepts contributions as low as $5. However, these are not typical donations in the sense that they are a one-time payment. Instead, the user will be expected to sign up and donate the same amount each month, making it almost identical to a subscription. Still at $5 per month, this can be a solution for those struggling to access their local live TV stations over the interest.
The other main caveat to be aware of is device support. As is the case with all streaming services, device support is not perfect and some may find their specific TVs or players are not supported. Although Locast is generally available on many of the most popular platforms and devices.