Television network broadcasters now have a new opportunity to reach viewers through over-the-air (OTA) broadcast media networks and over-the-top (OTT) streaming content. OTT streaming is becoming increasingly popular, as people look for ways to cut costs on television programming. OTA digital antennas are not extinct but are instead stably increasing as OTT streaming increases.

The Rise of OTT & OTA Television Network Content Broadcast

Interestingly, while OTT streaming is on the rise, cable television media viewing is decreasing. This trend suggests that viewers are moving away from traditional television models and toward streaming content via OTT apps. Surprisingly, this group is also purchasing digital antennas to bundle with their connected TVs. Combining a digital antenna with OTT media content allows cord-cutters to catch their local and national network news, sports network programming, and primetime television on large networks like ABC, FOX, CBS, and more for free.

According to Parks Associates, OTT media subscriptions in the US are expected to increase from 230 million in 2021 to over 277 million by 2026. Horowitz estimates that the number of OTA households for the 2020-2021 TV season was approximately 48.4 million which was a 38% increase year-over-year. This number is expected to gradually increase.

For television network broadcasters, this presents a new opportunity to reach viewers through both OTA stations and OTT streaming content.

The Advantages of Over-The-Air TV Stations and Networks Broadcast

OTA television network broadcasting offers several advantages for broadcasters. First, OTA network signals are free to air, which means that anyone with a digital antenna can receive them. OTA broadcasts also have a targeted reach, as they can be received by anyone within range of the broadcast signal, making it easy to reach viewers in a desired market.

The Advantages of OTT Broadcast Content

OTT streaming content, on the other hand, offers broadcasters a way to reach viewers who are cutting the cord and moving away from traditional television models. OTT streams can be watched on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs. This is a great opportunity for broadcasters to make their content available to on-the-go streamers. OTT content is also typically less expensive to produce than traditional television network content allowing broadcasters to save on costs.


For broadcasters, combining OTA station broadcast and OTT streaming content presents a new opportunity to reach a wider audience. An OTA broadcast offers an easy way to reach viewers in desired markets, while OTT streaming content provides an alternative to reach people who are cutting the cord. In either case, network broadcasters can increasingly reach a larger audience and connect with people amidst the transitions in the way we watch TV.