In your opinion, do you think OTA viewership is increasing or decreasing?


I heard a short news spot done by the "Digital Goddess" Kim Komando yesterday, and she states that due to the depressed economy, and viewers disgust at having to pay for many more channels than they want or need, that many TV viewers are re-discovering OTA TV.

With the increased channel count in almost all markets, people are finding programming that simply is not available on other programming outlets, and until recently, they never even knew it existed.

Now this seems to be in direct conflict to what those who want to steal the spectrum are reporting, but is that really a surprise? In addition to the "Digital Goddesses" report, in which she does not state her source for this information, a lot of antenna manufacturers are reporting record sales, as well as industry experts reporting increased viewership for OTA TV, so just who's numbers should we believe?

It should certainly not the Nielson numbers, since it is a fact known in the industry that they are not accurate, especially in diary markets, and Nielson seems to sway towards those who want to steal our spectrum, but even that should be no surprise to most of us except "BITCHER", who still says that everything is OK as long as big business gets its way, and the consumer has to always suffer. That's right, lets let the greed factor decide what the market will bear, not true market demand, as that business and marketing concept is a thing of the past.

I stated the economic aspect of that on this forum several times in the past, based on industry reports, and just simple plain old common sense. Who in their right mind would make a choice between pay TV, as opposed to heat for their homes or food on the table?

Unfortunately, we are fighting a force that is much bigger than we could ever realize. Big business like the Broadband industry has been writing its own laws that benefit themselves for the last 25 years or so. We will never defeat the policies of bribery, corporate favors, free corporate provided trips and other perks, and all of the other unethical practices of the "New Method" of governing the people, even though there is nothing really new about it except the intensity level and the huge dollar amounts that go unnoticed under the proverbial table.

The OTA broadcast industry is relatively small compared to the financial power and influence that the broadbanders carry with their very large fists full of dollars that you provide them with every time you pay your Cell phone or Mobile Internet monthly fees. We will never compete with the greed for the almighty dollar, and political corruption and bribery has always proven to be the best leverage for big business to get what it wants.

This, in reality is how our Government works, and only those such as "Bitcher" who think it is OK to take from those who actually earn their existence, and give it to those who do nothing to earn their daily existence, that think this is a fair and equitable system.

In closing, I would like to start a poll asking "Do you think OTA viewership is increasing or decreasing, and why"? but I really don't know how to start a poll on here, so someone else may want to take on that task. If a poll does get started, and you do participate, please quote sources, or state what facts you base your beliefs upon.
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Staff member
Increasing. The economy is forcing people to make choices and one of the choices some people are making is to live without cable TV.


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INCREASING. I have a list of people waiting for spring so I can put antenna on their roof, and I have so many requests for my home made antennas that I can't keep up. It's not just the economy, although its a large part of it. TV antennas are a hot video accessory these days for home theater owners - even those with pay TV. Better HD quality and multicasting are the big draw. And yea, I have seen numbers from the antenna manufacturers, and sales are on the increase as word gets out about OTA: "It's not your father's antenna TV". And as soon as someone here gets wise to the fact that we have only one Spanish channel here - V-me - and start broadcasting even ONE Spanish network, those numbers for me will go through the roof ( Hispanic viewers are the lagest OTA demographic there is)
The OTA broadcast industry is relatively small compared to the financial power and influence that the broadbanders carry with their very large fists full of dollars that you provide them with every time you pay your Cell phone or Mobile Internet monthly fees.
Don't forget the pay TV industry. They don't want the TV spectrum for themselves, but it's in their own self interest to limit competition, and they have very deep pockets from the money people gladly forked over in the years before digital TV - cable has convinced most people that paying for TV is the only way to see TV. And don't forget the constant media blitz: yesterday's mail had 6 ads from the two sattelite providers in the weekly advertising flyer with their "bait and switch" offers, Comcast sent me a nice letter telling me I could get their "Triple Play" bundle for "ONLY" $99.00 (and increasing to redonkulous levels after the introductory price runs out). DirecTV also sent me their monthly letter begging me to come back. Kinda like the EX who took all your money and cheated on you begging you to take her back. AS IF! And lets not forget the daily barrage of TV ads we see for pay TV. And when was the last time you saw a commercial or got an ad for FREE OTA TV? You have to go looking for someone to install your antenna if you can't do it yourself. Antenna installers and broadcast stations don't exactly knock on your door and tell you about it. Comcast can afford to do that, and they often do.
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Staff member
I should add that after watching DirecTV last Sunday, DirecTV has nothing on OTA for local channels. First off they only carry 6 of the 13 local Colorado Springs DMA channels. Second, the "reception" has just as much or more pixelation as I have from my home antenna. So, for local TV, the antenna beats DirecTV hands down.

I can't tell you for sure that OTA viewing is going up in my area, but I can tell you the pay-TV viewing isn't going up. People who have antennas are sticking with antennas, and lots of people who pay, don't know they have a viable alternative.


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
I think it's increasing as well because I do know a lot of people who have dropped cable/satellite due to the economy. However, with things picking up I'm not sure what the case will be a year from now.


I think it depends on where you live. In some markets OTA appears to be growing. But here in the hills of southwestern New York, I don't believe that OTA is growing, perhaps when you get closer to Buffalo, or Rochester, not here. I have seen people who are completely computer illiterate, dropping paid TV and getting Netflix (more then one family), but not going to OTA. This is just my opinion, but I think in this area perhaps 85 to 90 percent of OTA customer went to a paid service when analog shutdown, in real numbers that maybe a small number. Here is why I believe that happen.
This area was always served by Buffalo stations, in particular WGRZ Ch.2 now on 33, WIVB ch.4 now on 39 and WKBW now on 38. It was very easy to get a analog VHF station, you could live with snow and to be honest some OTA viewers got really good analog reception on those VHF channels. Then the change to DTV and UHF. Most people went out got a converter box, hook it up to their antenna and got nothing and then called a satellite provider. I know people who did that, some of it was the antenna was a VHF Yagi only, one family I help had a great analog picture and they were using a UHF-VHF antenna, but couldn't get the digital, I help them get a better UHF antenna and that worked, but most people just gave up. I have a friend who owns a business that installs for Dish Network, he got a lot of OTA customers when analog shutdown. That said I am about 50 miles from the transmitters and had to really work at getting those 3 stations, most people are not willing to put that much effort into it.


Staff member
On the AVS forum I corresponded with one of the broadcast engineers for KRMA (Rocky Moutain PBS) and he said he had gone on several house calls and there were usually one of two problems involved. Either the people were still using a VHF antenna, or there was an "air gap" between the antenna and the TV. (I also saw a comment on their web site that was from a viewer who obviously still had a VHF only antenna.) It makes me wonder how many people just threw up their hands and called Dish. My parents never scanned their converter box for several months until I was able to visit and therefore didn't know they had extra channels. If their stations hadn't stayed on their original RF channels, and they had a converter that allowed them to manually type in the channels, they wouldn't have had TV. I think that now we're starting to see the tide turn the other way as a more informed public starts to rediscover OTA.

Fringe Reception

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Increasing. The economy is forcing people to make choices and one of the choices some people are making is to live without cable TV.
Increasing numbers of OTA viewers, without any question.

This week we learned Seattle's unemployment has jumped from 8.9% to 9.2%. The Obama-economy has stagnated growth (otherwise known as reverse recovery) and even my next door neighbor's young son, now on his own, who grew up seeing MY antennas in front of his parents' picture windows has (somehow) "discovered" FREE OTA TV. Imagine that!

Today, I had an E-mail from my attorney after I teased him with the Article I posted here about two more FREE subchannels are or will become available locally on January 1. Now, he wants me to design and build an antenna system for FREE TV reception for him.

He is a very intellegent man and he took an honest look at what he is currently paying - about one thousand dollars every year to receive them: The Basket Weaving Channel, The Knitting Channel, the "Buy It Now" channels and the "As Seen On TV channels" and he recognises he is wasting his families' money.

All they want is LOCAL NEWS (easy, here) and on top of it he will get frosting on the cake including: RTV, THIS TV, the soon to come ANTENNA TV, multiple simultanious PBS feeds and 24/7 weather reports thru Fox and more channels.

How much TV can any busy person watch? The above channels and more are all FREE here. The link to my article with images is below and it ought to make you think about CUTTING your Cable bill to zero $$$.

To view my recent article click here:

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