Viewers Bought OTT TV Antennas for Olympics


People watching TVChannel Master went for its own gold medal before the start of the Olympics. The company says it experienced a 1,200% surge in over-the-air television antenna sales just before the start of the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio games.

“It was clear that U.S. households without pay-TV were buying antennas to be able to watch the Olympics,” said company President/CEO Coty Youtsey. He said the company tripled the number of warehouse personnel to handle the sales spike.

NBC has the broadcast rights to the Olympics, which is free from an OTT antenna. Public awareness of free over-the-air broadcast television continues to grow as more consumers seek alternatives to pay-TV, according to the company.

“Cord cutting started with the digital transition in 2009,” said Shelley O’Connell, director of marketing for Channel Master. “It wasn’t about streaming, it was about the HD signal from the major broadcast networks that you could now get from your TV antenna for free. There is still no value in TV today that can hold a candle to the television antenna, and U.S. consumers are catching on.”