The digital streaming TV revolution hasn’t just wreaked havoc on broadcasters. It’s hit cable television, too.
And Wall Street is noticing.
The summer season was once cable’s most important time of the year. Broadcasters like CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC would sit on the sidelines, happy to air mostly repeats. This gave smaller cable channels like AMC and USA and FX a brief window of attention. Cable networks took advantage of it, launching popular programs like “Mad Men” and “Monk.”
But now the membership ranks of video on demand streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have swelled. Just last month, 21 of the top 30 most watched-cable channels saw their ratings tank, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“TNT, the most-watched cable channel in prime time for the month, experienced a 22% drop from July 2014. Walt Disney Co.’s Disney Channel lost 19% of its audience, Comcast Corp.’s Bravo was down 23% and Viacom Inc.’s MTV fell 24%,” according to the newspaper.
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