The number of people subscribing to cable is on a downward trend. Companies like Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) have seen a decrease in video subscribers and they blame the loss, not on the internet, but the weak economy. Video subscribers for Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) are down 128,000 for the quarter and down 16,000 total subscribers.
A reasonable explanation for the loss of subscribers could be there is hefty competition like Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) which do not result in unsubscribing to use other TV providers like Hulu or Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Even though video subscribers were down for Time Warner (NYSE:TWC), their broadband data subscribers increased by 89,000. However, that could be because customers use DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) for video and Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) for data. Meanwhile, the company warns advertisers that “soft advertising” trends from last quarter were continuing this quarter.
Time Warner (NYSE:TWC) like other cable providers doesn’t normally have a strong ad sales operation, so you might not think much of the weakness. However, their insights coincide with other rumors about Q4 ads from other companies in other industries — so it’s worth watching.