Wall Street believes in cord cutters, despite what cable says

Wall Street investment firm Credit Suisse has downgraded shares of Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), Viacom (NYSE: VIA), News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWC-WI) because it believes young Americans are dropping cable and satellite services and replacing them with video-over-Web providers like Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), Apple TV and Google TV.

The credit company's move was a bit puzzling since both Disney and News Corp. are among the first content providers to offer up their wares to Apple TV as part of that grand experiment in a la carte video-on-demand programming delivery. It's also puzzling since much of the programming available on the Web is there because cable and to a lesser extent satellite providers allow it to be placed there. Also, much of the content is what used to be called "free over-the-air" programming.

Nevertheless, Credit Suisse used survey results that showed almost 30 percent of Netflix subscribers between 25 and 34 now watch the movie service rather than satellite or cable and nearly a third between 18 and 24 have dropped pay TV in favor of Netflix, bringing up the possibility that the service could become "'good enough' for consumers with moderate income." It raised its price targets for Netflix shares from $90 to $140.

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