Skip to main content

The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, Calif., in this Oct.14, 2014, file photo.Mike Blake/Reuters

Netflix Inc., the best performer in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index this year, joined a decline in media stocks, falling the most since October after bucking the selloff that hit Walt Disney Co., CBS Corp. and others.

Netflix, the largest online subscription video service, fell 7.8 percent to $112.55 at the close in New York, the steepest one-day decline since Oct. 16, 2014.

Media companies were among the big losers in the S&P 500 Thursday, with Disney, CBS, Viacom Inc. and Time Warner Inc. all down more than 3.5 per cent after Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger downgraded the sector, saying subscriber fees and advertising sales are at risk as the pay-TV industry loses viewers.

"We believe the U.S. television industry is entering a period of prolonged structural decline, caused by a migration of viewers from ad-supported platforms to non-ad-supported, or less-ad-supported platforms," he wrote in a note Thursday.

So far Netflix had escaped the plunge in entertainment stocks that started Aug. 5, after Disney cut its forecast for earnings at its ESPN sports network.