By Xavier Brenner

Cable stocks are getting pounded these days, thanks to a waning outlook for ad revenue and consumer disenchantment with bundled pay-TV packages.

Consumers are increasingly pulling the plugs on their cable providers and opting instead for new video-streaming services.

The shares of cable giants such as Viacom (VIA) , Comcast (CMCSA) , Walt Disney Co. (DIS) , and Discovery Communications (DISCK) have been under pressure of late.





And with good reason.

Subscribers are leaving pay-TV providers en masse.

The industry recorded its biggest decline ever in subscribers during the first quarter, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

Sports cable network ESPN, once a star of the industry, recently laid off scores of journalists and on-air talent.




Rising Star

Meanwhile, streaming service Netflix (NFLX) has about 100 million subscribers worldwide.

True, analysts are worried about slower growth, but investors continue to love the stock.


Bloomberg: Netflix (NFLX)




Call it the great unplugging.

Consumers, turned off by high monthly cable bills and shoddy customer service, are starting to shift away from pay-TV providers.

That could be good news for video-streaming services like Netflix, Amazon (AMZN) and Hulu, in my opinion.

Photo Credit: Fernando Cesar Nox via Flickr Creative Commons