Category Archives: Industry Update

Mar
31

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CSI: The Death of Cable

Since crime scene dramas are the most-watched television programming for over-the-air viewers, we decided to use that medium to help you understand the dire straits in which cable providers have found. Scene opens on a wealthy tycoon’s office.

We had seen carnage before that day. But never any quite as mysterious. Cable Paymoor’s bloated body slumped forward in his throne-link office chair. The millionaire tycoon’s comb-over blew gently in the breeze of the open floor-to-ceiling windows. Piles of cash stacked around him escaped through the windows bill-by-bill.

My partner and I had been called to his residence after reports that he had not been heard from for days. We knew this was not out of character for Paymoor. He had a habit of going off the grid for days at a time and missing appointments. But this time, something much more deadly had happened.

“It appears there are no signs of forced entry,” said my partner.

“Well, that’s no surprise,” I said. “No one could penetrate this palace if they tried. No. I think what caused the demise of Cable is something more mysterious.”

We moved closer to Paymoor’s body and noted the open wound on his forehead. On the screen in front of him were the latest statistics on the number of Cable subscribers. It looked like he lost over 1.7 million subscribers.

MultiChannel Cable

In front of him lay a copy of the New York Times with the headline, “Cord Cutting Movement is Costing Cable Millions.” A pattern of blood splatter on the desk spelled out all we needed to know. Paymoor had died of self-inflicted wounds. He had smashed his head on the desk in frustration over losing his market share.

“My god,” I said. “Cable died of a broken heart. It appears this over-the-air option has driven Paymoor to the brink. He obviously couldn’t take it.”

On the desk next to the headlines I notice a cake. It read “MANY THANKS. STAY THE COURSE. XOXO Antennas Direct”

I turn to my partner: “Heh. I guess being a cable CEO is not such a sweet job anymore.”

Aug
15

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A Special Message from Antennas Direct to Victims of the CBS and Time Warner Debacle

The cable television big shots are at it again – another carriage dispute is dominating the headlines and unfairly punishing their viewers. The current standoff between Time Warner Cable and CBS has meant viewers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and 13 other states have been without some of their favorite programming for some time now. CBS  blackout

What typically happens is this:
Cable and satellite companies began to charge customers for high-definition television (that is free over-the-air). The broadcasters then asked for a cut of the money that was being made on what is actually free. In an effort to negotiate a better rate, the cable company (in this case, Time Warner) blacks out the network television station.

It’s big names and big egos. In the end, no one wins.

And the biggest victim is you – American families who pop corn, pour sodas and watch your favorite mini-series like Under the Dome together. If you are one of the victims of this blackout, then know that you have been wronged.

The good news: it does not have to be this way. You don’t have to wait for the big shots to play their games. There is a way to get the programming you want to see without the monthly fee…all you need is an HD antenna.

Also, the picture and sound quality from an antenna far surpasses the compressed signal from your paid provider. So when you have your friends over to watch the Cowboys game (since it is blacked out on their TV), you will have a better image than ever.

The even better news: you don’t have to pay full price for a high quality HD antenna. We at Antennas Direct feel for the victims of this blackout. So, here’s what we want you to do:

1. Go to www.antennasdirect.com
2. Find the right antenna (use www.antennapoint.com)
3. Enter promo code “CBS20″ – which saves you 20%.
4. Enjoy over-the-air HD television (without the added big shot egos.)

Now the only drama you will be watching is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – not the local headlines.

Jul
11

Posted in Antennas Direct, Industry Update | Comments

Cord-Cutting Continues, Broadcast-Only TV Homes Increase

by Wayne Friedman, Jul 9, 2013, 10:34 AM

A new study says broadcast-only TV homes are continuing to increase.

This year, 19.3% of U.S. TV homes — 22 million homes — will be broadcast-only and not subscribing to any pay TV service. A year ago, some 20.7 million-plus homes were broadcast-only, per researcher GfK.

The research company says this would be nearly a 40% rise from three years ago, when 14% of TV homes were paying for TV via cable, telco, or satellite TV distributors.

The report said the No. 1 reason was financial; 60% of those who cancelled their pay TV service cited cost-cutting as the reason. More online video viewing and Internet-connected TV options may have boosted cord-cutting.

Other reasons for cord-cutting, according to CouponCabin, include not watching enough TV (27%); alternative ways of watching live TV (17%); and watching few TV channels (17%).

Looking at ethnicity, African-American and Hispanic-American TV homes have been climbing among overall broadcast-only households, while Asian-American TV homes are going in the other direction, according to the report.

Some 23% of Asian-American homes are broadcast-only, down from 30% three years ago. African-American TV homes have jumped to 22% from 12%; Hispanic-American TV homes are up to 25% from 23%.

Jul
4

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Certainly Uncertain: The American Way

When our forefathers drew up their vision for a new nation, they knew there was uncertainty ahead. They could not have predicted some of the battles we would face. What they were certain of, however, was the current way was not working. They were frustrated with feeling like they did not have a choice.

What they did took some bravery, but today we are grateful for their vision – for not being tied to convention.

That same spirit and fortitude of character is present today in what many call the cord-cutting movement. As this Oregonian points out, however, it may take some bravery and soul searching before you make a leap. But in the end, people like Mike Rogoway are shaping the future of television – much the same way our forefathers have shaped democracy.

The point Rogoway proves is this:
You have a choice.
You don’t have to go along with convention.
You get to shape the future of television.

There are practical ways to embrace the uncertainty that comes with cutting the cord. Here are some of the suggestions the Orgeonian makes:
-    get an antenna for over-the-air broadcasts (we know a great source for this)
-    figure out which shows you can purchase on digital TV (he purchased Mad Men and The   Walking Dead)
-    supplement the rest of your entertainment with streaming services

We salute patriots like you, Mike Rogoway. Your brand of courage is what we need.

As for the rest of you, the team here at Antennas Direct wishes you a Happy Independence Day. Make it even happier and cut the cord.

Jun
4

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Variety – Moffett estimates U.S. pay-TV ex-subs have reached 1.9 million

Top Wall Street Analyst: Pay TV “Cord-Cutting Is Real”
June 3, 2013 | 08:12PM PT

Andrew Wallenstein

No one on the planet may know more about the pay-TV business than Craig Moffett, who analyzed it consistently and cogently for about a decade at Bernstein Research up until the end of last year. He resurfaced last month at his own research firm, Moffett Research, and returned Monday to the subject he knows so well with a simple message that stood out from the rest of a 135-page coverage initiation document: “cord-cutting is real.”

While that’s far from a 180-degree flip to anyone who has followed how his opinions regarding the complexities of pay-TV subscription rates have evolved since he called the trend an “urban myth” in 2009, it was clearly his most forceful declaration confirming the existence of cord-cutting.

Citing the largest year-over-year pay-TV subscriber slide yet that occurred in the first quarter of the year, Moffett didn’t mince words: “Pay TV is unmistakably declining and the rate of penetration decline is accelerating. The very fact that there have recently been more new households being minted each year than there have been new pay-TV households is proof positive that cord cutting is real.”

While making abundantly clear that this cord-cutting evidence didn’t mean “seismic changes” were just around the corner for the industry, Moffett projected that the pay-TV penetration rate would sink from 87.9% this year to 82% by 2020. He characterized the cost-cutting population as being 1.9 million strong — though that’s a drop in the bucket against a pay-TV populace totaling over 100 million in the U.S.

Moffett sees a combination of two factors driving the acceleration of subscriber decline: 1) the lower-income households that he believes comprises the biggest part of the cord-cutting segment are getting priced out of the market by increasing subscription rates 2) the digital alternatives from Netflix to Hulu that are meant to be supplements to the pay-TV market end up being substitutes in the aggregate.

It’s an interesting evolution for a prominent analyst who built a reputation as something of a skeptic on the cord-cutting front. But by no means is he flip-flopping: Moffettologists will note a creeping credence he lent to a trend he once pooh-poohed in his comments over the years. As early as 2011, he acknowledged, albeit parenthetically, that change was a-coming: “Notwithstanding an ongoing fascination with the notion of cord-cutting (in favor of web vide0), there is little evidence that this is a significant phenomenon (yet).”

May
27

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NAB Chief: What’s Not to Like About Free, Live and Local?

WASHINGTON— Just what part of free, live and local don’t you like, the chief broadcast lobbyist asked industry critics today during a House hearing.

National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith testified this morning before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet at a hearing on the “State of Video.” He kept it short and sweet, highlighting broadcasting’s role during disasters and emergencies, the business of retransmission consent and the migration to mobile distribution:

“Stations play a vital role in informing, protecting and entertaining every local community across this great nation,” he said. “And that is never more apparent than when a disaster strikes, reminding us of broadcasters’ important role as first informers.”

“We’ve seen this time and again. In Arkansas and Mississippi, you saw the largest tornado outbreak that took hundreds of lives across the South. Whether an earthquake in Washington, D.C., a hurricane in New York or a terrorist attack in Boston, I have no doubt that each of you can retell a tragic story from your own state. But I’m also confident that each story involves a response by your local stations. These stations kept residents safe.

“And when there was no cable, no satellite, no broadband, no cell or phone service, broadcasters were there to provide a lifeline to their communities. When it was time to rebuild, local stations were there for their neighbors in need, holding fundraisers and food drives to help them get through the hardest times. So I ask you, isn’t this a public good? Isn’t this a role that should be supported? Because if broadcasters are not there to serve this role, who will?

“Even with all of the spectrum in the universe, the wireless industry’s one-to-one delivery system could never match our unique architecture and ability to broadcast to the masses.

“It’s crucial that broadcasting and broadband work hand-in-hand to offload congested wireless systems and deliver the content consumers want and the emergency information they need.

I“n this regard, it was also critical that Congress implemented the necessary safeguards in legislation granting voluntary incentive auction authority. While these auctions will present an enormous challenge to the FCC, your constituents and local broadcasters, we stand ready to roll up our sleeves and conclude this auction in a successful, timely fashion.
“Broadcasters not only inform…we entertain.
“As content producers, we create the most watched shows on TV. In fact, 96 of the top 100 shows were on broadcast television last year. This content is valuable – to the viewers, to the stations that supply it and to the companies that retransmit it.

“Broadcasters’ ability to serve our local communities, produce the best shows on television and deliver that content free to over-the-air viewers, is sustained by two revenue streams: paid advertising and fees paid to us by those who rent our signals and sell our content to paying subscribers.

“Without this economic foundation, we could not do what we do.

“This revenue enables stations to meet their primary goal: serving the public interest. And policy decisions that threaten this economic foundation could cripple an industry that provides an indispensable, even irreplaceable, lifeline service to all Americans.

“I am always surprised when some of our competitors try to describe broadcasters as “yesterday” – part of a bygone era. I have to ask these critics: What is it about free and live and local that you don’t like?

“Our communities not only like broadcasting, they depend on it. And despite a changing media landscape, broadcast television is as relevant today as ever.

“When TV stations transitioned from analog to digital transmissions in 2009, it revolutionized free, local TV, providing viewers more choices than ever before. Most stations offer extra channels, called multicast channels, that deliver diverse and hyperlocal content. It’s coverage of local sports and community events, your weather and traffic matched to your zip code and programs reflecting vast languages and cultures, amplifying the voices of women and minorities in our communities.

“Broadcasters continue to innovate and deliver the content viewers want, when and where they want it.

“Including interactive TV customized to your needs that we’re sending to tablets, cars and smartphones. The future of TV is mobile and on-the-go and more vibrant than ever. In the past month alone, we’ve seen new services rolling out for viewers. Networks are investing in, and launching, mobile services to provide viewers with live, local and national TV on all their devices and even on demand. We also saw just last month at the NAB Show ultra-high definition broadcasting, which is literally 3D TV without glasses; the picture is astonishing.

“Consumers have limitless options for content and countless ways to access programming, and yet they continue to turn to broadcasting more than any other medium.

“That is the enduring value we provide.

“I would ask that as you consider public policy that impacts the future of this great industry, remember the unique and critical services local stations deliver, and consider the consequences of decisions that could impact broadcasters’ ability to serve our communities, and your constituents.”

May
17

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Hollywood Taking Notice of Cord-Cutting Movement

In early 2012, the CEO of Home Box Office (HBO) referred to the cord-cutting movement as nothing more than a “fad.” Fast forward 14 months and the “fad” is not only still relevant, but growing at a rapid pace.  According to a 2012 study conducted by GFK Media, nearly 21 million households now receive TV programming exclusively through broadcast signals rather than cable or satellite.

Pretty startling statistics, wouldn’t you say?

In addition to receiving content over-the-air, many cord-cutters are supplementing their viewing experience with a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu.  As the subscription totals for these platforms continue to rise, Hollywood executives are beginning to view these outlets as an alternative way to distribute original programming.

The producers of the Netflix original program, House of Cards, opted to go with Netflix over HBO because they felt the streaming service not only provided a better avenue to reach their audience, but afforded the viewers the luxury of being able to watch the entire season at their own convenience.

Additionally, Netflix will be bringing back the critically acclaimed comedy series, Arrested Development. Once again, Netflix beat out a cable network (Showtime) for the rights to broadcast the new season. The producers chose Netflix over Showtime because—according to Netflix data—that is where their target audience resides.

Amazon has also jumped into the original content pool. In April, the online retailer posted 14 original pilots, asking viewers to choose their favorite. This will, in turn, give the audience more control over their viewing experience, thus creating a stronger connection the program.

Sound Off: What do you think about Netflix and Amazons foray into original programming?

View the complete line-up of HDTV antennas from Antennas Direct or visit Antenna Point to find the best antenna for YOUR location!

Apr
2

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TV for FREE – Cut the Cord and Save!

As pioneers in the cord-cutting movement, it is our mission to educate viewers on not only the benefits of our HDTV antennas, but all the alternative viewing options that are available. From the integration of a streaming device to low cost services such as Hulu and Netflix—there are a slew of ways you could be saving money!

It truly warms the cockles of our heart when we hear that someone has canceled their pay-TV subscription. Recently, parenting blogger,      Meghan Cooper, wrote about her quest to find a more cost-efficient substitute to cable. While it is ultimately Meghan’s goal to save money, she does not, however, want to lose all the programs she has grown to love.

Her conclusion: you don’t have to settle for outlandish monthly fees in order to enjoy top-notch original programming! While we don’t want to spoil her blog, (it is really great!) we have to fill you in on one small detail: she is now a cord-cutter! By integrating a ClearStream C2V HDTV antenna and a Roku streaming device, Meghan is now able to enjoy all of her favorite programs—minus the monthly fee!

To read all about Meghan’s cord-cutting journey, please visit: http://jamonkey.com/get-tv-for-free-tips-to-save-you-hundreds/ or http://atlmomsonthemove.com/2013/03/getting-free-tv-in-atlanta/

View the complete line-up of HDTV antennas from Antennas Direct or visit Antenna Point to find the best antenna for YOUR location!

Feb
18

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Dishs Charlie Ergen: I think people are cutting the cord. A lot of customers can live with Netflix and an antenna, YouTube and they would be pretty happy.



By Janko Roettgers February 11, 2013: 10:16 PM ET

Cord cutting is real, argued Charlie Ergen, Chairman and co-founder of Dish Network at All Things Digital’s Dive into Media conference in Dana Point, California Monday. “think people are cutting the cord,” Ergen said, arguing that kids in college never use cable, and that they won’t suddenly start paying once they leave school. “There is a reason that tobacco companies give away free cigarettes at colleges,” he joked.

Ergen also reiterated his position that a la carte programming would be better for consumers, as well as the industry itself. “We are still for a la carte, because the Internet is a la carte today,” he said. People could just watch Netflix, or even pirate content online, and service providers would have to compete with this new reality. “A lot of customers can live with Netflix and an… antenna, and YouTube…  and they’d be pretty happy,” he said.

However, Ergen cautioned the audience at Dive into Media that a la carte won’t become a reality anytime soon. “It’s gonna go there slowly,” he said, arguing that the major broadcasters won’t break the bundle willingly. It would be more likely that the bundle would be broken by outside forces like Amazon and Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix: Ergen was quite bullish when asked about the future of the video service. “I think they will be successful,” he said, adding that the launch of Netflix’s first original series House of Cards was “brilliant.”

He said that it would be possible for both Amazon and Netflix to succeed with their respective services – but it was quite clear that Ergen is rooting for Netflix: “I’m a fan,” he said, adding: “I feel stupid that we didn’t think of it first, but I’m a fan.”

Dec
12

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Mickey Mouse is a Cord-Cutter

Why pay $80 a month for cable, when you can meet Prince Charming for just $7.99? We all know that Prince Charming would not need to ask for a long term commitment, because he realizes that if it is a good relationship. You will never leave. Cable companies were hoping to make you feel like you had no choice. Well it is time to celebrate.

Comcast and Charter customers hoping to live a real-life fairy tale can give up any hopes of their Fairy Godmothers appearing on the televisions before them. In an announcement made last week, Netflix’s video subscription service outbid pay-TV giants and snagged the rights to Disney movies shortly after the films leave theaters.

Cord-cutters everywhere will have online access to Disney classics from the comfort of their own homes. Cord Cutters will be rejoicing from around the country singing, with all the money in their pockets watching free HD television and singing.  For less than the cost of an average movie ticket, entire families will be able to cheer on their favorite Disney heroes. The multiyear licensing agreement strengthens the already robust library of flicks available through Netflix.

Sorry cable companies – it’s another tough blow to your dwindling customer base. At the going rate, you won’t be living happily ever after. So what are you waiting for, cut the cord and start singing in the streets… just like in the Disney Classic, Newsies! Seize the day and save today!

About Antennas Direct
Antennas Direct is the leader in antenna technology, reinventing the antenna for the digital era. With a heritage in over-the-air antennas specifically tuned for core DTV frequencies, Antennas Direct has invested major resources into the discovery and implementation of new antenna designs for digital reception. Founded in 2003, the firm is a member of the Inc. 500|5000 Hall of Fame and Future of TV Coalition. Visit antennasdirect.com for more information.

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