PHOENIX—Channel Master announced FLATenna, a new antenna that retails for $10 in the United States and will ship free of charge through the online Channel Master store. The 13-inch passive indoor antenna is said to be able to receive broadcast signals from up to 35 miles, and was developed as a marketing tool to help educate consumers about the value of free broadcast TV.
“We get a lot of calls and emails from people who want to know more about broadcast TV,” said Coty Youtsey, president and CEO of Channel Master. “They want to know if they can get their local news or the big game, and the answer to that is ‘yes,’ which tells us there’s still a lot of marketing to be done. Instead of filling mailboxes with literature, we’re offering a popular-style antenna at an ultra-low cost to encourage people to try the experience at very little risk to their pocketbooks.”
Channel Master describes FLATenna as the equivalent of other 13-inch passive indoor antennas that retail for $35 or more.
“Reception from a TV antenna is limited by physics, so there’s not a lot of room for innovation,” said Joe Bingochea, executive vice president of product development. “An outdoor antenna will deliver more range and reliability. If your indoor antenna is getting all of the major broadcast networks and that’s all that you need, then FLATenna will be sufficient and it’s priced well below competitive products.”
Channel Master introduced the DVR+ in January, a subscription-free DVR for broadcast TV that is very similar to the experience of using a cable or satellite DVR. “Obviously, it’s not our intention to build a profitable business model around FLATenna,” Youtsey said. “We want to help people discover free broadcast TV, and if they like the experience we want to introduce them to our DVR+ platform.”
For FLATenna owners who later choose to upgrade to an outdoor antenna or purchase the DVR+, Channel Master will credit the FLATenna transaction toward the new purchase and the customer keeps the FLATenna.