The latest sales report from Antennas Direct shows that interest in over-the-air broadcasting is growing, not declining.
While articles and blogs about TV viewers “cutting the cord” and using antennas along with the Internet to obtain TV programming appear frequently, I haven't seen this viewing shift widely reflected in publicly released media research. The Antennas Direct news release notes that the Convergence Consulting Group estimates that 1.6 million people will cancel their cable or satellite by the end of 2011. That number sounds impressive, but percentage-wise it is still small.
The increase in Antennas Direct revenue, from $8.7 million in 2010 to a forecast $21 million in 2011, with sales up 225 percent in the first quarter alone, shows people are buying TV antennas. While the percentage of viewers dropping off cable or satellite are small, the growth in Antennas Direct sales would indicate the trend is accelerating.
Richard Schneider, President of Antennas Direct, said, “Experts have been telling me for eight years that OTA was dead, yet we have maintained 110 percent compound annual growth since we started, earning multiple honors on the Inc 500 fastest growing list. So the uninformed statements by the FCC Chairman are nothing but regurgitation of outdated notions from the waning days of analog TV."
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.