UPDATE (via B&C):Media Stocks Continue Post-Earnings Free Fall
Media stocks took a pounding yesterday after a series of earnings calls focused investors on the risk that the pay TV bundle could be unraveling.
The wave started with Tthe Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday when CEO Bob Iger tried to address concerns that falling subscriber numbers were forcing ESPN to cut costs in order to maintain its profitability.
By Wednesday, when four big media companies reported earnings, executives were peppered with questions about the sustainability of affiliate revenue growth,
When the dust cleared, nearly every big media stock was down. Discovery -- which bragged about its new distribution pact with Comcast -- took the biggest hit, down 12%. Disney was down 9%, Time Warner off 8%, Viacom and AMC Networks fell 7%, Scripps Networks dove 5% and CBS and Comcast slid 4%. (Ominously, Netflix was up 2%.)
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