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Over-The-Air TV Viewership Continues to Grow in 2010

March 15, 2010: ST. LOUIS - The hype of the digital conversion has long passed, however nine months after the long-awaited, frequently talked about digital transition, sales of over-the-air antennas continue to climb, reflecting not only the continued growth of over-the-air television, but a trend developing among the American people.

"From current economic conditions, increases in cable and satellite TV rates to the expansion of over-the air channels and new technologies, there is a bright future for digital television," said Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct, one of the leading antenna manufacturers in the country.

Schneider, who passionately follows the industry, believes the facts are hard to ignore and offers the following insights on the growth of over-the-air television.

Over-the-air television is a cost effective alternative:

  • The current economic conditions are causing viewers to question the cost and value of cable and satellite TV. The elimination of paid TV from the household budget leads to significant cost savings.
  • The expansion of multicast in local markets gives audiences more viewing options. In markets that broadcast 40 plus digital and HD channels for free, over-the-air television is becoming the new basic cable.
  • With services like Hulu, Apple TV and Netflix readily available, consumers can switch to over-the-air television without missing favorite shows and movies, traditionally found on cable channels.

Investment in digital television conversion strengthens over-the-air viewership:

  • Billions of dollars have been invested by the government, broadcasters and American consumers in the DTV conversion, an investment that only supports the popularity of digital television.
  • Original reports estimated that no more than 20 million DTV conversion coupons would be requested, however more than 34 million coupons were redeemed, and a total of more than 64 million requests for coupons were received.

Digital television is a growing trend and increasing in popularity:

  • FCC reports that only 10 percent of American homes rely solely on over-the-air TV signals, however these numbers don't take into consideration the 35-50% of households that use an antenna as a supplement to pay TV. Close to 50 percent of the 114 million TV-watching households are using an antenna.
  • Big box retailers have added or expanded their selection of antenna products. A leading electronics retailer has doubled both the number of SKUs they carry, and doubled their monthly orders from Antennas Direct. While a major wholesale club ran a digital TV antenna trial, selling out pallets of product in 72 hours. Based on this success, the retailer has subsequently begun rolling out Antennas Direct products nation-wide.
  • Europe, who had an earlier digital transition than the U.S., has seen its over-the-air audiences explode in the three years since its conversion, almost 50% of all households in the United Kingdom are over-the-air only. The U.S. may easily follow the trend in Europe.

"Over-the-air viewership is continuing to rise dramatically due to all of these reason," Schneider states. "This is not a dying industry, in fact new technologies are leading to more antenna innovation in the past 18 months than in the past 18 years. We can't make antennas fast enough."

Antennas Direct has doubled its revenue every year since its founding in 2003. The company's revenue jumped from $3.4 million in 2008 to $7.5 million in 2009 alone and is expected to reach $14 million in 2010 making it one of the fastest growing, privately-held companies in the nation.

About Antennas Direct
Antennas Direct is a St. Louis-based manufacturer of over-the-air antennas specifically tuned for core DTV frequencies. Its ClearStream antenna series has been widely recognized by broadcast engineers and industry publications for its patented design and performance for DTV. Antennas Direct, a 2009 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company, has invested major resources into the discovery and implementation of new antenna technology and continues to test and modify antenna designs, raising the bar by which antenna performance and appearance are measured. Visit for more information.