New York - Bank of America Merrill Lynch media analyst
Jessica Reif Cohen said a rebound in the housing market could help kickstart
the economy and spell much better days for cable companies in 2013.
At the Multichannel News/B&C OnScreen Summit Thursday in an interview with Multichannel News' editor-in-chief Mark Robichaux, Reif Cohen stopped short of predicting that cable operators will cross into
positive video subscriber growth next year, but said that losses that have
plagued the industry for years will continue to decline.
"We haven't had the benefit of housing growth in years,"
Reif Cohen said. "That will be a huge positive for the pay TV industry in
general and cable specifically."
The analyst said that overall Bank of America Merrill Lynch
is bullish on the overall economy -- the promise of renewed housing growth,
continued low interest rates and a strong banking sector should translate into
overall gains, especially in the second half of the year.
High programming costs will continue to divide operators and
content providers, Reif Cohen said, adding that average retransmission consent
fees will continue to rise.