Multicity "Broadcast TV Liberation Tour" Creates Excitement, Draws Huge Crowds Seeking Local TV

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More than 2,000 Americans received free digital TV antennas as part of tour stops in Albuquerque, Denver, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Oklahoma City. Use of antenna from latest #ADBusTour to inject $3.6 million annually into local economies.

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The excitement among huge crowds of people attending “Broadcast TV Liberation Tour” events this past October fully illustrates that free broadcast television is alive and well in America. TVfreedom.org and Antennas Direct joined forces with local TV stations in Albuquerque, Denver, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Oklahoma City to give away advanced digital broadcast TV antennas to more than 2,000 people who greatly value their access to local TV news, weather updates, emergency alerts and programming.

“Heavy rains and strong winds could not stop thousands from showing up to demand broadcast television,” says Richard Schneider, president of Antennas Direct. “We saw people from all walks of life amazed at how much television they can receive with a TV antenna. Local broadcast is the best television, with the best high-definition picture, without a monthly fee – so of course we generated huge crowds, often in the thousands, in each market.”

The demand for broadcast television has increased as more Americans become aware of the growth in niche programming formats via multicast diginets, including channels dedicated to ethnic program formats and family-friendly content. Recently, Nielsen found that more than 650,000 U.S. homes switched exclusively to over-the-air TV viewing in the last year.

“The tour brought diverse crowds of people together to receive a free antenna and gain instant access to locally-based and culturally-rich broadcast TV news and programming. We couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout,” said Robert C. Kenny, Director of Public Affairs, TVfreedom. “Some people waited in lines overnight, braving cold temperatures, strong winds and steady rains, while others traveled hundreds of miles for the opportunity to receive a free antenna. That’s an undeniable validation that broadcast television remains completely relevant to the American people.”

The total retail value of the 2,000 ClearStream 2V digital antennas given away as part of the tour was approximately a $225,000 ($120 per antenna).

“The 2,000 people who received a free broadcast TV antenna will no longer have to pay for monthly cable or satellite TV service. That means something as simple as a TV antenna will collectively save these families approximately $3.6 million annually,” Schneider said. “Access to free broadcast TV gives these hard-working people an opportunity to put some of their cash back into the community, instead of the wallets of pay TV CEOs.”

Dennis Wharton, Executive Vice President of Communications, National Association of Broadcasters, offered an eyewitness account of what took place at the tour stops he attended in Sioux Falls and Oklahoma City, “The gratitude exhibited by those who received a free antenna provides Washington policymakers with a powerful picture of the enduring value of local television. Broadcasting is the most trusted source of entertainment, news and lifeline information in America, and based on the massive crowds at the TV antenna giveaways, it’s apparent that there is a huge appetite for free and local stations.”

To access the full video showing highlights from the multicity tour, please click here.

About TVfreedom.org
TVfreedom.org, is a coalition of local broadcasters, community advocates, network television affiliate associations, multicast networks, manufacturers and other independent broadcaster-related organizations committed to helping protect consumer interests, ensure emergency and weather related programming access, promote the value of broadcast-TV programming, and preserve a fair and free video marketplace.

About Antennas Direct
Antennas Direct is the leader in antenna technology, reinventing the antenna for the digital era. With a heritage in over-the-air antennas specifically tuned for core DTV frequencies, Antennas Direct has invested major resources into the discovery and implementation of new antenna designs for digital reception. Founded in 2003, the firm is a member of the Inc. 500|5000 Hall of Fame and Future of TV Coalition. Visit antennasdirect.com for more information.

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Erica Skrivan
Antennas Direct
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