As things evolve you can stream all of the old and stale scraps you want at places like Netflix, but if you want anything resembling fresh content, you'll need to pay more via on-demand offerings through outlets such as cable, satellite or iTunes.
Consider the deal Disney announced. It opened ESPN programming up to mobile devices, but only to customers of Verizon (VZ), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks. That hook up went down last year and the government has not voiced any objection that I know of. And, of course, Time Warner (TWX) only allows HBO subscribers to access HBO GO.
It gets even better for the old guard content owners and worse for glorified bootleggers like Netflix. If the old guard faces any consumer protection-related regulatory pressure, it can quickly and easily concede. While they might have to toss cable and satellite providers under the bus, the outcome of government intervention likely will not benefit companies such as Netflix.
If Washington forces the old guard to open up digital delivery of its programming to nonsubscribers of cable and satellite, it can do it via its own platforms, whether that's Hulu or some TV Everywhere effort. As I have been saying for the last year, that's long overdue - a tier-based subscription service supported by advertising where content owners and deliverers share revenue.There's a reason why I am long stocks like TWX, Viacom (VIAB), Madison Square Garden (MSG), Rogers Communication (RCI) and BCE, Inc. (BCE). They own or control premium content and, in many cases, they share or have complete control over the mode(s) of delivery for that content. In this regard, they have power over Netflix and even stronger companies like Apple, Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN).
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV