One of the best things to happen for cord cutters in the last 10 years was the shift in 2009 to digital over-the-air TV. As a result of digital broadcasting, cord cutters get even more channels for free.
Digital over-the-air TV
So, what is digital over-the-air TV? In short, it works just like old fashioned TV, which used an antenna in order to get TV channels. Digital over-the-air TV brings you great HD TV free with an antenna (if you do not have an antenna, check out our guide to over the air TV antennas).
The difference to the end user is their ability to receive not just one channel per number on their dial but up to five different channels per number. With digital over-the-air TV, not only will you get NBC, ABC and CBS, but you will likely get the CW Network and many other stations for free.
Most flat screen TVs work with the new digital over-the-air. If you have an older TV that is not HD ready, you will need a converter box. To learn more, check out the FCC guide on digital converter boxes.
New channels and their markets
The launch of 130 new channels over the next year in 81 current stations is a sign that cord cutting is growing. This deal will bring Escape, GRIT, Laff, and Bounce to channels owned by Nexstar Broadcasting, Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting.
Once all these stations are live, Escape will be in 42 additional markets and reach 85% of the United States; Grit will add 28 markets and reach 93% of the United States; Laff will gain 45 markets and will be in 85% of the United States; and Bounce TV will be in 15 new markets and 81% of the United States.
Grit’s programming is aimed at male viewers with shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger and movies like Assassination Games; Escape targets female audiences who prefer criminal drama shows like American Justice and movies such as Black Widow; and Laff features comedy programming. All of these networks are owned by Jonathan Katz’s Katz Broadcasting. Katz is also COO of Bounce TV which is the first exclusive African-American broadcast network with a mix of movies, sporting events, documentaries and specials.
“Escape, Grit, Laff, and Bounce TV are unique brands that are complementary to our stations’ existing high quality, original, local news and other exclusive local and network-affiliated programming. Nexstar’s top priority is serving the needs of the people and communities where we operate and with the launch of these digital multicast networks across the companies’ broadcast platforms, we are delivering more exciting content to local viewers including classic and contemporary off-network sitcoms, original programming, popular movies, action series, documentaries, specials, live sports and more, ” says Brian Jones, Executive VP and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Nexstar.
“Katz Broadcasting and Bounce TV are managed by seasoned and talented teams of television veterans who have a proven track record of success in both curating and producing excellent programming and we believe consumers in our markets will enjoy all four networks for many years to come, ” says Jones.
This is a great moment to remind you to scan for new channels on your TV. A few months ago I did that and found two new stations.