Cheddar, an online business news channel that targets millennials, believes it can coax young viewers to look up from their mobile phones to watch old-time broadcast TV, and it’s giving away antennas with Dunkin’ Donuts to prove it. The network will air programming on UHF stations in five markets that reach more than 4 million homes. Cheddar is renting the broadcast spectrum from DTV America, which owns the licenses. Dunkin’ Donuts, which already advertises on Cheddar, will distribute antennas at events in those markets.
Ted Stephens: “I am always a little bewildered by how mad some viewers get when a TV station is taken off of a delivery system. That doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with the viewers. I get it that the subscriber feels caught in the middle — a pawn being penalized while the greedy corporations battle it out. The reason I don’t fully understand the reaction of those upset viewers is: We’re talking about free-over-the-air broadcast television. From the day broadcast TV was first introduced in the 1940s it was delivered to the home free over the air. All you needed was an antenna, and that hasn’t changed.”
Broadband-only homes are increasingly using antennas to receive TV. In the third quarter of 2016, Parks Associates says 15% of those homes use antennas for TV reception. This percentage has been steadily rising since the second quarter 2013, when it was under 9% of those broadband-only homes.
Indoor antennas are pretty cheap, but CNET’s tests of six popular models did reveal some differences. Here’s how they stack up.
As television continues to grow and evolve, an old standby has resurfaced around Topeka, Kan., and other parts of the nation — the outdoor antenna. Many people have ditched cable and satellite television in favor of free, over-the-air TV channels. Some are supplementing that with programming available on the Internet.
TVFreedom, Antenna Direct and LG Electronics on Tuesday announced the kickoff of a nationwide effort to promote over-the-air TV. The campaign’s major kickoff begins with the giveaway of 1,000 C2-V DTV antennas on Nov. 23 in Washington. A smaller event is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Toledo, Ohio. To give the public an even bigger incentive to attend the kickoff, LG Electronics is making a 42-inch HDTV available for a raffle giveaway. The company also is providing 12 HDTVs for the event to display over-the-air signals from area broadcasters.
Time Warner Cable will offer free antennas starting Friday, allowing customers to receive blacked-out CBS stations over the air. Customers will be able to collect them at local TWC offices.
Largely relegated to obscurity decades ago, old-fashioned television broadcasts — over the airwaves and not via cable or satellite — are enjoying an unexpected revival in the digital era. With an increased array of online-video programming now drawing viewers’ attention, companies are starting to pitch consumers on complementing online video streamed from the Web with broadcast TV signals as a way to save money on cable subscriptions.