Shares of media companies are having their worst month since 2015
By Michael Wursthorn
Traditional players struggle to adapt to shift toward streaming services
Shares of cable providers and entertainment companies in the U.S. are suffering their worst stretch in nearly two years, as traditional players struggle to adapt to a shift toward streaming services.
Americans are ditching television subscriptions in favor of viewing movies and TV shows through online services. The move disrupts a delicate ecosystem of media companies sustaining themselves on subscription fees from pay-TV providers, and echoes Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) upending of the brick-and-mortar retail landscape.
A group of 13 media companies in the S&P 500 have fallen more than 4% so far in September, its steepest monthly decline since December 2015, while the S&P 500 has gained roughly 1%.
The selloff in the sector gathered pace on Sept. 7, when two industry giants gave updates that disappointed investors (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/media-sector-suffers-selloff-after-disney-comcast-give-guidance-scaring-investors-2017-09-07). Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) said it expected to lose as many as 150,000 video subscribers in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Walt Disney (DIS) Chief Executive Robert Iger said the company's earnings per share for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30 would be on par with last year, missing analysts' estimates for a small rise.
An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com (https://www.wsj.com/articles/shares-of-u-s-media-companies-set-for-worst-month-since-2015-1506531440)
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