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Why AT&T Is Making Donations to Support a Free Streaming Service


Jul. 1 2019, Published 1:26 p.m. ET

AT&T is backing Locast

AT&T (T) has donated $500,000 to help Locast, a free streaming service, expand into more markets. AT&T stated that the donation would support Locast’s “mission to make free broadcast content available to consumers and offer them more choice.”

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Locast, which launched in January 2018, is operated by a nonprofit advocacy group called Sports Fans Coalition and depends entirely on donations to stream broadcast TV channels in local markets. Reportedly, the service is available to more than 32 million users in 13 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Washington. The service also reaches about one-third of US homes with TVs.

Locast needs ~$100,000 to launch its service in each new market. Therefore, AT&T’s donation is expected to significantly help Locast to achieve its target of expanding its services in an additional top 20 US markets in 2019.

AT&T’s profits

AT&T has been growing its profits for the past several quarters. In the first quarter, AT&T posted EPS of $0.86, in line with analysts’ estimate and a 1.2% YoY (year-over-year) rise. Its profits have risen on a YoY basis for the past six straight quarters.

AT&T is optimistic about its wireless business and believes that the broadband business will drive its earnings growth amid a consistent decline in video customers due to cord-cutting activity.


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