This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Apple, Google, Netflix, the Olympics and the NFL

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With all the speculation about Google (GOOG - Get Report) making a play for some flavor of National Football League broadcast rights, it probably makes sense to address a lofty piece, published by All Things D earlier this week, that fantasizes about Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) moving into live events.

But first, TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia is absolutely right: Apple ( AAPL - Get Report ) must be part of any NFL-related speculation. And, make no mistake, that's all we have here. The All Things D reporter has nothing solid. He screamed "fire" then qualified his lead several times. That said, it's only a matter of time before technology companies get more involved in live events, particularly sports.

Why wouldn't professional sports leagues look to big tech? There's no reason not to. Companies such as Apple have more money to blow than the big media establishment. While a deal with an Apple or Google doesn't necessarily broaden distribution, it certainly could enhance it.

However, the leagues will have to be sure not to burn bridges with partners such as DirecTV (DTV). Though they haven't gone full-blown digital yet (Ciaccia's story provides examples of existing NFL/digital partnerships), the NFL has made more games available, outside of NFL Sunday Ticket, through outlets such as The NFL Network and the expansion of games beyond Sunday and Monday nights.

So, again, it's just a matter of time before a non-traditional player meaningfully enters the picture.

But the key is cash, which makes it funny to read through Ben Elowitz's OpEd, where the tech entrepreneur argues Netflix should get into live events.

First, Elowitz didn't break any ground. Here's a January 2012 Seeking Alpha piece where I work in the Canadian sports media landscape to highlight the importance of premium content.

So, yes, Elowitz is correct. Netflix absolutely must diversify itself to stay relevant. That's what original programming is all about after all. However, Elowitz dismisses Netflix's precarious cash situation when he makes horribly misguided statements such as:
With TV network ratings shrinking these days, at what point does Netflix surpass NBC in viewership and become a credible bidder for streaming rights to the Olympics? NBC has those rights locked down through 2020, but if the audience continues to shift online, we could be just two more Summer Olympics away from the first completely cordless Games.

I won't even get into the context-less statement about "shrinking" ratings.

More to the point, the idea that Netflix will ever be able to afford the Olympics -- if the company continues on its present trajectory -- is absurd. We're talking billions of dollars for a company that has had to raise cash twice in the last two years and likely will end up going to market again.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
DTV $0.00 0.00%
AAPL $118.48 0.57%
GOOG $743.96 -0.84%
NFLX $123.36 -1.70%
TWX $70.04 0.37%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,719.92 -78.57 -0.44%
S&P 500 2,080.41 -9.70 -0.46%
NASDAQ 5,108.6660 -18.8590 -0.37%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs