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Citibank entertainment media analyst Jason B. Bazinet and his team wrote in a note to investors today that they are baffled by the audience ratings decline they're seeing in cable TV.
Citi downgraded CBS, Disney, Discovery, News Corp and Scripps from "Buy" to "Neutral" in the note after concluding that the ratings falloff was accompanied by a similar decline in the growth of ad dollars being spent on cable.
Citi left Time Warner and Viacom as "Buys."
Cable continues to grow revenues, up 8 percent (compound annual growth rate) since 2008, on Citi's numbers. That's more than the media sector as a whole, which only grew 2 percent.
Audience ratings, however, are in a tailspin:
#1 the crisis at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Facility in Nebraska
#2 The U.S. is regularly bombing Yemen and parts of Pakistan (leading up to ww3?)
#4 Members of congress continue to mention Christians as a threat to national security
#5 China's eastern province of Zhejiang has experienced the worst flooding it has seen in 55 years
#6 Trading gold and silver is going to be illegal
#7 Huge cracks are appearing all over the world for no reason
#8 Arizona is on fire
#9 There are reports that N. Korea has tested a "super EMP weapon"
#10 Active shooter drills are being conducted in public schools
#11 NASA has just launched a preparedness initiative for all NASA personnel
#12 (At the time) Over the past week, over 40 temporary "no fly zones" have been declared by the FAA, no one knows why.