"Cord cutting" fear at The Cable Show

Cable operators and programmers going to the The National Cable Show this week in Washington, D.C., are worried about the triple threat - telephony, satellite and "cord cutting."  With tight wallets, some people may find ways to do without any video service provider at all.

Since last year cable stocks have dropped an average of 31 percent, with most of the declines occurring this fall. Cord-cutting is big on the minds of some cable executives, such as Time Warner Chairman Glenn Britt, who believes free, ad-supported TV online through sites like Hulu, Veoh and others have made it feasible to stop paying for cable or satellite services. Once cable loses subscribers, programmers will start to lose out on the syndication fees they get from cable companies, and nobody will be happy.

Time Warner Cable is pushing a "TV Everywhere" initiative to offer online access to cable shows exclusively to cable, satellite and telecom subscribers. How you authenticate paid video subscribers is a bit of a challenge, given that you have to have a database and some sort of passcode.

Compounding matters have slowed video subscriptions over the past two quarters, while competing video offerings from phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon also started to bite into both video and broadband subscriptions.

For more:
- Dow Jones via Wall Street Journal. Article

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