There may be a whole generation of people in the United States that’s not sure whether or not HDTV is available for free over the air, but a coalition representing antenna and set makers, broadcasters and even consumer groups has set out to change.
Research suggests more than half of young adults do not know TV is available for free over the air.
TVfreedom, Antenna Direct and LG Electronics today announced the kickoff of a nationwide effort to promote over-the-air TV. The campaign’s major kickoff begins with the giveaway of 1,000 C2-V DTV antennas on Nov. 23 in Washington, D.C. at the Eastern Market, a popular tourist destination. A smaller event is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Toledo, Ohio.
To give the public an even bigger incentive to attend the kickoff, LG Electronics is making a 42-inch HDTV available for a raffle giveaway. The company also is providing 12 HDTVs for the event to display over-the-air signals from area broadcasters.
Antenna Direct will give away 1,000 model C2-V antennas in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Antenna Direct, LG Electronics and TVfreedom, which counts NAB, network affiliates, station groups like Dispatch Broadcast Group, as well as special interest groups, like the Hispanic Institute, among its members, will demonstrate to those in Washington, how it is possible to receive more than 30 stations broadcasting news, weather, sports and multicultural programming over the air.
Robert Kenny, a spokesman for TVfreedom, says promoting the availability of free OTA television is important because so many people –particularly, younger adults who may have grown up in cable or satellite TV homes- don’t know that TV can be received for free with an antenna.
“We have done some surveys recently and found that among the 20- to 34-year-old age group more than 50 percent don’t realize they can get free over-the-air TV in their homes,” he says. “There is now an opportunity for many in that age group to access OTA and never sign up for cable TV.”
The campaign to raise awareness of OTA television will last a year with events scheduled in 25 U.S. cities, including Indianapolis and Huntington, W.V.
According to Kenny, the campaign is timely despite coming years after the completion of the analog-to-digital television conversion.
“With ever-increasing pay TV bills and more families feeling the pinch on their monthly budgets, this is a good opportunity to remind them that free over-the-air television is available,” he says.