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Scripps Launches Website Promoting TV Antennas

Scripps
(Image credit: Scripps)

In the television business all the buzz today is around OTT and streaming, but one major station group has decided to bring old technology to the forefront in a bid to increase awareness of free over-the-air TV. 

EW Scripps has launched TheFreeTVProject.org, a website that promotes antenna TV, providing tips and information on what are the best types of TV antennas, available programming and even a chatbot. 

On a page titled “An antenna is the key to Free TV!” visitors can enter their zip code to find available free over the air channels in their area, (CTA has offered a similar service that helps consumers pick the best type of antenna on antennaweb.org for years).

Based in Cincinnati, Scripps owns 61 TV stations and has been active in the rollout of ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGen TV), which the website also promotes. It also has a robust “diginet” (DTV auxiliary channels) portfolio, as well as its “Newsy”  24 hour news channel. The station group is spending $20 million on its campaign which also includes 30 second spots on its O&O as well as promotions on social media and streaming services. 

Although many station groups are reluctant to promote free over-the-air TV because of the lucrative retrans fees they receive from pay-TV, Scripps President Adam Symson thinks that the current TV environment, with the increasing rate of cord-cutting is putting consumers in charge and that broadcasters need to keep customers informed of their choices. 

“Many companies are concerned about talking about broadcast too much for fear of it negatively impacting the pay TV eco-system,” Symson was quoted in the Los Angeles Times. “But I believe the consumer is in control at this point and what we have to do is insure the relevance of our product and our reach on into the future.”

Los Angeles Times has the rest of the story

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.