More evidence that Americans are increasingly cutting the cable cord: Channel Master announced that for the weekend prior to the Olympic opening ceremonies, July 30 and 31, the company experienced a 1,200 percent increase in TV antenna sales through direct online orders.
“When we came in Monday and realized what was happening, we immediately picked up the phone and tripled the number of warehouse personnel,” said Coty Youtsey, president and CEO of Channel Master. “It was clear that U.S. households without pay TV were buying antennas to be able to watch the Olympics.”
The Olympics are carried by NBC and available for free from a television antenna. Public awareness of free over-the-air broadcast television continues to grow as more consumers seek alternatives to pay TV. Traditionally, Americans have been much less aware of the existence of free over-the-air TV than other parts of the world, where it is commonly referred to as terrestrial television.
Research from GfK shows that more Americans now use TV antennas than subscribe to any individual pay-TV provider. Comcast, the nation’s largest, has an estimated 22.2 million video subscribers, while an estimated 24 million U.S. households are using a TV antenna. An estimated 29 million U.S. households do not currently subscribe to a TV service, according to GfK.
In addition to antennas, Channel Master said it provides a subscription-free DVR that gives customers a cable-like TV experience with the ability to pause, rewind and record live TV from a TV antenna, a 14-day program guide, streaming services and live Internet channels.