With high inflation hitting many household budgets hard, some consumers may be interested in dropping their cable and/or streaming services in favor of the original, free way to watch TV -- using an antenna to capture over-the-air brodcast signals. However, many people who grew up with cable and streaming might not understand how it works or even be aware it's available. So media company E.W. Scripps, which owns 61 TV stations nationwide, has launched an education and marketing campaign about it. Scripps debuted a website this month, TheFreeTVProject.org, where you can type in your zip code to see what stations you can get for free in your area with an antenna. It also explains how broadcast TV works and offers information on what type of antenna works best, based on your geographical location. Scripps also began airing 30-second TV spots in cities where the company owns stations, and will place ads on social media sites, billboards and connected TV streaming platforms. More Americans are actually using TV antennas, with the Consumer Technology Association saying 32 percent of U.S. households own a TV antenna, up from 26 percent in 2019. People old enough to remember using antennas may wrongly believe there are just a few channels available over the air. The switch to digital signals in 2009 allowed for the creation of over-the-air sub channels, dozens of which are available in many markets.
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