Antennas Direct buys Mohu to create indoor/outdoor TV antenna giant

TV antenna

Antennas Direct is acquiring Mohu in a deal that will combine the companies’ indoor and outdoor antenna specialties into one major provider of over-the-air TV hardware.

The companies didn’t disclose financial terms of the deal, but the transaction is intended to put both companies in better position to capitalize on the growing amount of consumer cutting the cord on traditional pay TV.

UBS predicted that the U.S. pay TV industry will lose another 6.2 million video subscribers in 2020, down slightly from the 6.4 million the analyst firm predicts will be lost in total for 2019. If that loss comes to bear it will represent a 6.7% rate of decline, ahead of 6.2% in 2019 and well ahead of 1.2% in 2018 when video subscriber losses totaled 1.2 million.

Richard Schneider, CEO of Antennas Direct, said the acquisition will form the largest company in the U.S. delivering TV antennas to the OTA market, which he said is increasing annually in unit sales. He also said the combination will create efficiencies that will allow the combined company to ramp up marketing as well as research and development efforts.

“Our bandwidth is going to double overnight,” Schneider said, which will allow the combined company to devote more time and investment to products that have been stuck in the development pipeline.

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Antennas Direct will focus on making its antennas smaller, more powerful and more resistant to interference. Schneider said his company can hopefully get higher gain while reducing the size. He also wants the combined R&D teams to work on smart antennas that are self-structuring, meaning they can receive feedback from a tuner and reconfigure themselves. He said the U.S. military already has antenna technology like that, but his company working on doing it at a price point that consumers can accept.

Despite the companies combining, both the Antennas Direct and Mohu brands will stick around.

“Mohu was launched with one central goal: to spread awareness of the choice that antennas give consumers and make cord cutting accessible to all,” said Mark Buff, founder and CEO of Mohu, in a statement. “Antennas Direct will enhance the Mohu brand with the innovation, leadership and expertize that they are known for. We are excited that loyal Mohu users will continue to have support and access to our legacy products and now have access to even more products for their cord-cutting lifestyle.”

Schneider said that Mohu has been unbelievably successful with indoor antennas, and that it’s likely that some of the Antennas Direct indoor line will be relaunched under the Mohu brand, not the other way around.

“It’d be like buying Coke and getting rid of their name. They’ve been very successful in a short period of time. I’m excited to have them on my side instead of competing against them,” Schneider said.