The East Canyon gusty winds (with 50 to 60 MPH gusts) could not keep an estimated 2000 New Mexicans from showing up for the chance to receive free over-the-air television. In partnership with TV Freedom and KOB-TV, Antennas Direct gave away just over 400 of the ClearStream 2V antennas at the American Home Furniture in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The first person in line had been on location since 10 PM the night before – braving the chilly and cruel winds – to ensure he received the best television the world has known without a monthly fee.
All of our 400 antennas (plus a few extra) were gone within an hour.
Even after all of the antennas were gone, we stuck around to answer those common questions we always get: Yes, over-the-air is free. No, there is not a catch. Nope, no monthly fee. And, of course, there is no “upcharge” for high definition. Yes, you really can get that many channels.
Especially important to the Albuquerque area are all of the Spanish, in-language content that is available over-the-air. Ever since the digital broadcast transition of 2009, broadcasters have invested billions in their infrastructure to provide powerful signals over-the-air. Part of that investment was the creation of digital subchannels, which allow for niched programming for underserved communities.
According to the latest census, almost half of Albuquerque’s population is Hispanic or Latino with a quarter of the residents identifying as bilingual, an antenna provides reliable access to in-language, hyperlocal content for free.