Analyst: Cord cutting will keep 'drip, dripping' along, despite sudden rush of OTT competition

High-profile media analyst Craig Moffett doesn't believe Sling TV, Sony's PlayStation Vue or Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming pay-TV service will be revolutionary enough have a profound impact on the indigenous cable, satellite and IPTV industry.

With the limitations of these services in mind, Moffett writes in a Thursday report, "the market has quickly come to a consensus that these services will be only a blip for traditional pay-TV. Our own base case forecast reflects a similar view; we expect a continuation of the slow and steady drip, drip, drip of cord cutting that has left pay-TV subscribership essentially flat despite steady growth in new household formation.

Just to keep things interesting, however, Moffett pondered the unthinkable, entering into the money portion of his report by pondering, "what if we're wrong?"

His conclusion is that cable companies aren't quite as insulated from video business declines as they were a decade ago, when serious IPTV competition emerged. This time around, broadband services aren't growing as explosively.

However, video services aren't as important as they were to cable companies 10 years ago, Moffett notes.

"It will likely come as a surprise to many cable investors that the impact of a significant worsening of video subscribership trends would have such a small impact on cable industry financial results," the analyst added, after kicking the tires on the impacts to individual MSOs. "It shouldn't. We have argued for at least a decade that cable companies should be thought of as infrastructure providers, not media companies."

For more:
- read this MoffettNathanson report

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