Tech by VICE

Cord-Cutting Millennials Blamed For TV Business Implosion

Get off my lawn.

by Nicholas Deleon
Aug 6 2015, 4:20pm

Photo courtesy Netflix

Several of the largest media and television stocks are in the toilet today, and they're squarely blaming young cord cutters for their woes.

Companies like Disney, Time Warner, and Dish Network are down as much as 12 percent in the past day thanks to weaker than expected financial results caused primarily by declining viewership. (At the same time, stocks like Netflix have reached record highs.) The concern among investors is that young people will continue to drop cable (or never subscribe in the first place), leaving the likes of ESPN paying for increasingly expensive content with fewer and fewer people watching.

"It's clear that the millennial generation is having an impact, and every media company is trying to figure out how to connect with them," Mike White, the former CEO of Dish Network, told the Wall Street Journal. Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, which owns ESPN, has also warned about "some subscriber loss" as a result of cord cutting.

It's not just cord cutting, either, as consumers today have a number of less-expensive-than-cable options, including HBO Now ($15 per month, and as of today available for Google Chromecast) and Sling TV ($20 per month).

The pain is "just starting" for cable companies, noted cable industry analyst Rich Greenfield. Scary!