More People Are Considering Buying an Antenna To Watch News, Sports, TV Shows, and Movies





Even as cord cutters embrace streaming and a move away from old-fashioned cable TV plans, they’re also increasingly looking at something even older: an over-the-air TV antenna.

Twenty percent of U.S. internet households own a TV antenna, according to research firm Parks Associates’ ATSC 3.0: Impact and Opportunity for Video Services industry report. It also found that 12% more didn’t own an antenna but were planning to buy one in the next six months.

If you’ve cut the cord, but still want local channels, an antenna is the most affordable route. That’s increasingly important with various sports teams already making the move to local broadcast stations, with more likely to do so with regional sports networks struggling to survive.

In addition, more people are trying to save money, and paying for local channels through cable TV providers or live streaming services – both of which continue to raise prices – doesn’t make economical sense. With the one-time purchase of an antenna, the OTA channels are free.  

TV antenna owners said they watch about 6.4 hours of OTA programming like ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, a week, according to the report. Subscription-based video-on-demand streaming ekes out ahead with 7.6 hours a week.

In addition, the report said about 30% of antenna owners prefer OTA for watching live news, and 20% choose OTA for live sports, TV shows, and movies. 

“The percentage of antenna owners has remained steady over the last few years, creating a stable audience for broadcasters at a time when they are losing revenues from lost retransmission fees as consumers abandon pay TV for streaming services,” Alan Bullock, Parks Associates’ senior contributing analyst, said in a statement. 

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