Scratch, scratch, scratch. Here that sound. That is the sound of streaming media taking away viewers from cable. Is it a new sound; heck no. Radio heard it from TV. Broadcast heard it from cable. And now cable is hearing it from new media. "The report said companies like Netflix were poised to see solid growth as consumers with moderate income switch to its low-cost, subscription streaming service potentially cutting cable service from companies like Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Time Warner Cable (TWC.N)." It is change at its finest and brings new opportunities and new challenges. Internet content from Apple, Amazon, Netflix, My Damn Channel, Next New Networks, and many many others. ESPN.com isn't the only stream in town.
While Netflix sees growth, cable basic subscribers are declining. Right now, cable is watching its current customers either taking on more services or dropping completely. As customers figure out that they don't need digital phone, that they can downgrade their line-up removing premium services and high costing tiers for movie services that are cheaper and just as robust. And as that trend continues, that they can access broadcast still for free and don't need the cable access.
The world is broadband only and access to all of tons of content. The real worry of cable is that the triple play becomes one play again and that cable doesn't get to aggregate content anymore. TV makers are making internet ready TVs and content creators are selling shows to cable, Apple, and others. Cable must act to differentiate itself if it wants to remain competitive.