Miller Lite’s novel ‘Cantenna’ offers a lifeline to cord-cutting scofflaws

Millions of fans tuned in to pro football’s return Sunday – some of them skirting federal laws by logging on to illegal streaming sites to catch the game. 

Fortunately for these scofflaws, Miller Lite is unveiling a solution as ingenious as it is functional. Miller Lite’s Cantenna – literally a can of beer affixed with a digital antenna – is its latest “cannovation,” coming on the heels of its widely heralded gaming Cantroller.

For the next month, the beer brand is giving away a limited quantity of Cantennas, introduced during last night’s pro football game between Dallas and Los Angeles, to help consumers who don’t subscribe to cable TV bring football to their living rooms – legally.

“We really wanted to reach cord-cutters going into football season,” says Stephanie Clanfield, associate marketing manager for Miller Lite. “When trying to stream live sports, it can be difficult and confusing, and some people might have to resort to illegal streams to catch the game. With the “Cantenna,” football fans and their friends can kickstart Miller Time in a safe and legal way.”

Live sports streaming is growing in popularity, with a third of sports fans saying they now stream games online, according to research by Verizon Media. And with many fans unable to view games in-person or at bars and restaurants, being able to watch games at home carries added importance, Clanfield says.

With its rabbit-ear-style antennae – fashioned as goal posts – the Cantenna hearkens back to a simpler time, when friends and family would gather to root on their team without having to worry how they’d watch it, Clanfield says.

“People gathering at home to watch a football game with friends is the perfect embodiment of Miller Time,” she says, adding that the Cantenna will allow users to watch other stations that air digitally in their home markets.

While the Cantenna is real, Miller Lite introduced it as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek gag, developing a series of social media posts directing people to websites that resembled illegal streaming sites –, for instance – to intrigue consumers before unveiling the sites as a feint. The sites make it clear they are advertising the “Cantenna,” and direct interested legal-age consumers to call 877-CANTENNA and enter for a chance to win at

“We found an unconventional way to reach this audience across the web, from ads on social media and search engines, and with influencers like Chris Long and Kyle Long, as well,” Clanfield says

The campaign is anchored by a 3-minute online ad that tells the story of one eager fan who lands in trouble with the law after illegally streaming a game. Miller Lite wrote its own ode to football Sundays featuring a rocking country band led by a familiar-looking burly, bearded singer.

“Well, you waited all year for football to get here,” he sings as the fan tries to log onto a shady website. “Keep on clicking the links ‘til your face turns blue because Sunday night is back! But not for you.”

Things get worse for the fan, whose friends leave before he is arrested and ultimately sent to a federal prison. If only he had the “Cantenna,” his attorney says over a phone receiver from behind a glass wall in the lockup.

The Cantenna sweepstakes lasts through October 12, and comes as Miller Lite continues to grow in the premium lights segment, leading its competitors with volume up 8.5% year-to-date, according to the most recent Nielsen all-outlet and convenience store data through August 29.