For the second straight year, the number of U.S. households that own TVs has declined, according to an excellent investor note from Citi Research analyst Jason B. Bazinet and his team.
Only 112 million U.S. households now have TV, down from a high of 116 million.
Note that the decline in TV ownership comes despite an increase in the number of households.
So who is to blame? Here’s one culprit: Netflix now has 33 million streaming video subscribers. That’s the equivalent of one third of the 90 million-strong cable/satellite TV subscriber universe. You don’t need cable TV to watch Netflix, of course.
The rise of Netflix.
Amazingly, Netflix has amassed this online audience in just six years. It began streaming only in 2007.
This next chart (below) shows whose revenues are most at risk from cord-cutters who live without traditional TV and get by on internet video instead.
Companies at-risk from cord-cutters.
Unsurprisingly, Citi has a “sell” rating on Discovery Networks, the cable content provider. It’s still bullish on the cable service companies themselves, however, because Bazinet believes they can offset TV losses with new broadband web subscriptions.