A national bus tour sponsored by Antennas Direct is giving free television digital TV antennas and attracting large crowds at station promotions throughout the country. It appears the demand for over-the-air TV is high, for the right price, as consumers contemplate dropping their subscription services due to the weak economy.
Based in St. Louis, MO, the TV antenna manufacturer said it is giving away up to 6000 of its Clearstream C2 digital HDTV antennas to viewers via a bus tour coordinated by local stations across the country. At KFSM-TV, a CBS affiliate in the Arkansas River Valley, 3000 people reportedly lined up to receive 400 free antennas. WNEP, the ABC affiliate in northeast Pennsylvania, gave away about 200 antennas in September. Likewise, KMPH, a Fox station in Fresno, CA, gave away 200 antennas in just 40 minutes, and Antennas Direct quickly supplied another 100.
A video showing the crowds lined up at various stations was played by the NAB at the launch of The Future of TV Coalition on Nov. 1. The coalition has the goal of supporting and promoting digital broadcasting in public policy.
The bus tour, in its second year, has traveled to major markets all across the country, receiving great fanfare, often with lines that stretch for hours. This is the first time that an antenna manufacturer has set out specifically to help those unemployed. At its first stop of the 2010 tour, nearly 1000 people attended the bus's arrival in Decatur, AL. The tour will continue nationwide throughout the end of the year; a complete schedule is available at www.antennasdirect.com/bustour/.
Facilitated by the NAB, the coalition unites organizations that have expressed concern that legislative and regulatory initiatives currently under discussion in Washington could jeopardize the future of over-the-air broadcasting.
In addition to promoting local broadcasters’ ability to reach all members of their communities, coalition members promote policies that preserve viewer access to new initiatives made possible by the analog-to-digital transition.
The members of the coalition are Antennas Direct, Bounce TV, The Center for Asian American Media, County Executives of America, The Country Network, Digitenna, DLT Entertainment Limited, LATV Networks & American Latino Syndication, Luken Communications, MHz Networks, Native American Public Telecommunications, New York Television Festival, Open Mobile Video Coalition, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Qubo, This TV and Vme Media.