Monday, March 21, 2022

Getting an antenna? Consider what channels you get and what you don't.

If you're a cord cutter, or thinking about becoming one, it may very well be worth looking into getting an antenna for watching local TV channels.

Sure, you can get a live streaming service that includes local channels, but those cost more. You may be able to spend a little extra money up front for an antenna and save money overall in the long run.

It's a little hard for me to make good comparisons for what you may want in a live streaming service, because I don't want a live streaming service. But, not everyone is like me. Some absolutely want the content they get from a live streaming service.

For this, I've decided to break things out a couple of ways. I'm using the Nielsen ratings for the most-watch networks. I'm looking at them two ways: overall viewership, and overall viewership excluding news and sports.

I'm breaking out the ones available over the air, as an antenna would cover those. These include:

  • CBS (1st overall)
  • NBC (2nd overall)
  • ABC (3rd overall)
  • Fox (4th overall)
  • Univision (8th overall)
  • Ion (13th overall)
  • Telemundo (14th overall)
  • CW (21st overall)
  • Me TV (23rd overall)
  • UniMas (29rd overall)
  • Grit (38th overall)
  • Others available in many markets

Broadcast networks and local affiliates adds a lot to the cost of a live streaming service. According to one recent study, it's at least $12/month, and as high as $20/month. Every month. Taking those networks out, I'm looking at overall viewership, which covers a variety of networks, and may be the best overall for many households. The top ten in viewership are:

  • Fox News Channel (5th overall)
  • ESPN (6th overall)
  • MSNBC (7th overall)
  • HGTV (9th overall)
  • Hallmark Channel (10th overall)
  • CNN (11th overall)
  • TNT (12th overall)
  • TBS (15th overall)
  • TLC (15th overall)
  • History (7th overall)

News and sports channels add a lot of cost to a live streaming service. The most recent study I found is two years old, and it was $9//month, just for ESPN. Removing news and sports channels from this, the top ten becomes:

  • HGTV (9th overall)
  • Hallmark Channel (10th overall)
  • TNT (12th overall)
  • TBS (15th overall)
  • TLC (15th overall)
  • History (17th overall)
  • Discovery Channel (18th overall)
  • USA Network (19th overall)
  • Food Network (20th overall)
  • INSP (22nd overall)

This makes it easier to pick the live streaming service you want. If you get an antenna, you get a lot of content. If you want more, consider what it is you want, and how much you feel good paying for it.

Life isn't simple. Your Streaming Life isn't either. But it doesn't have to be expensive either.

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