Antennas Direct said it acquired Mohu to become the largest antenna company in the U.S. at a time when more consumers are cutting the cable TV cord.
Sinclair Broadcast Group has embarked on a campaign to let consumers know they don’t need the pay-TV ecosystem to enjoy their local TV stations. Sinclair, which controls 173 network affiliates in 81 markets, has partnered with NAB-backed TV Freedom and Antennas Direct for what’s being billed as the “Broadcast TV Liberation Tour.”
Antennas Direct is giving away 1,000 antennas to Aereo subscribers. The company will ship a free ClearStream 2 Complete antenna (50+ Mile Range), 30 ft. of coaxial cable and 20-inch J-Mount (MSRP $129.99) upon recipt of an Aereo billing statement and $10 for shipping.
At issue are three 60-second spots that Antennas Direct of Ellisville, Mo., sought to air in the St. Louis market through Charter Communications on ESPN, the History Channel and other cable networks. The ads encourage viewers to cancel cable and save money by buying an antenna. Charter spokeswoman Anita Lamont said the company decides on a case-by-case basis whether to accept advertising of competitors. “In this instance, we made a decision not to accept business advertising from this company for this particular product,” she said.
The two companies are stepping up a joint effort to persuade consumers to cut the cable TV cord and substitute a mix of OTA and OTT programming. Direct supplies the antennas, while TiVo supplies the box that not only records and stores off-air programming, but also interfaces with the broadband video world of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. In the works is a plan that would let stations share in the monthly fees that TiVo charges by promoting the Antennas Direct-TiVo solution. “Our goal is to create an on-going, sustainable and increasing revenue stream for stations,” says Antennas Direct’s Pete D’Acosta.
The owner of Antennas Direct turned a hobby into a $10 million-a-year business supplying TV antennas to the steadily increasing number of consumers who are dropping cable for free over-the-air TV. He’s bullish on OTA and can’t understand why the FCC now wants “to kill it in the crib.”