TV antennas make comeback as pay-TV prices soar

Manufacturing jobs may be coming back to America, thanks to Donald Trump.

So are TV antennas, thanks to soaring cable bills.

So says market-research and consulting firm Parks Associates that estimates that the percentage of U.S. households that watch TV via antennas rose to 15 percent in 2016 from 9 percent in 2013. The results came from an online survey.

"What is driving this is that over time pay-TV prices have continued to go up," said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. The "perceived value of pay-TV is the No. 1 reason people cancel or downgrade their pay-TV service."

More people, Sappington said, are buying an Internet service to watch online entertainment content and news, and then tapping the TV broadcasts the old-fashioned way with antennas to watch NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox.

The survey also noted that in 2016 twice as many people downgraded their pay-TV packages, or about 12 percent of households, as compared with those who upgraded their pay-TV service, about 6 percent.

Nearly two-thirds of American households now subscribe to online on-demand streamers such as Netflix or Hulu, the Parks Associates survey showed.