Most of the TV People Want to Watch is Available for Free

We often hear about how people wish they could pay for just the channels they wanted; however, what many may not realize is many of the shows and channels they want are 100% free with an antenna.

Recently two reports came out that make it clear that the most-wanted channels turn out to be free.

What channels would you pay for if you could pick?

A recent report on American viewing habits included a question asking people if they could pay just for the channels they wanted (no pre-packaged bundles), which channels would they choose to pay for?

The top two most asked for channels are both 100% free with broadcast networks taking 3 of the top 5 and a total of half of the top 10 most requested channels in an ideal cord-cutting a la carte world.

  1. ABC
  2. CBS
  3. Discovery
  4. NBC
  5. History
  6. FOX
  7. A&E
  8. PBS
  9. TNT
  10. FX

Other highlights from the report:

  • 44.3% of people without Pay TV use an antenna
  • Top 3 reasons people are cutting the cord:
    • Pay TV is too expensive
    • They are using streaming services
    • They are using antennas to watch free local/broadcast channels
  • 76.6% of people would like to choose their channels a la carte
  • 84.7% of people watch live TV on a daily basis

94 of top 100 Most-Watched Shows of 2016 Aired on Broadcast Networks

Even more interesting is looking at the most watched events of 2016. Of the top 100 most watched TV programs, 94 of them were free with an antenna.

Yes not only are half of the most-wanted channels free, but 94% of the most-watched shows and events of 2016 all happened on free over-the-air TV.

You may notice that a big chunk of those 94 programs are sports events. But non-sports fans should know that if you remove sports, the percentage of most-watched programs available over-the-air increases to 97.5%. Of the most-watched programs excluding sports, 39 out of 40 aired on broadcast networks last year. Leading the pack were major awards shows like the Academy Awards and the GRAMMYs, followed by popular network programs including 60 Minutes, The Late Show with Stephen ColbertNCISThe Big Bang Theory, and newcomer Little Big Shots.

Now if you add in a streaming service such as Sling TV, you can have access to the top 10 most-wanted channels for free or at a fraction of the cost of traditional pay TV. Add in a DVR that supports over-the-air TV and you can watch many of the best shows and events for free and when you want them.

So maybe it’s time to take a second look at getting an antenna. Mohu’s antenna recommendations can help you see what is available in your market and what kind of antenna you should buy.

Luke Bouma

More Posts by Luke

I am a dedicated cord cutter who owns Cord Cutters News. My goal is to help as many people as possible break free of high monthly cable bills without losing access to all the content they want to watch.

I have had the opportunity to test out a ton of great cord cutting services and devices. Hopefully, from all my reviews, news, and how to’s someone has saved a lot of money. At the end of the day my goal is to see as many people as possible leave “cable” behind and find the freedom and savings cord cutting can give them. You can find me on Twitter @CordCuttersNews or on Facebook.

I am a dedicated cord cutter who owns Cord Cutters News. My goal is to help as many people as possible break free of high monthly cable bills without losing access to all the content they want to watch.

I have had the opportunity to test out a ton of great cord cutting services and devices. Hopefully, from all my reviews, news, and how to’s someone has saved a lot of money. At the end of the day my goal is to see as many people as possible leave “cable” behind and find the freedom and savings cord cutting can give them. You can find me on Twitter @CordCuttersNews or on Facebook.

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