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

Sports Opens Door for Apple TV

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Our Carlton Wilkinson wrote a nice piece last week about Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) TV. I can sum up his expectations for the product in one word:


But there's reason to believe Apple's chances of success are greater than you might think. That reason can also be summed up in one word: Sports.

Almost half your monthly cable bill now goes to sports. Disney's (DIS - Get Report) ESPN is the big dog, but the other networks are getting in on the action, and bidding up rights fees in the process.

Comcast's (CMCSA - Get Report) half-owned NBC Universal unit recently grabbed England's Premier League from ESPN and News Corp.'s (NWS - Get Report) Fox Soccer WOOD-TV for what USA Today estimates is $250 million , spread over three years. That will give it 380 games each year, helping to transform NBC Sports from the bicycling-rodeo channel it was into a soccer-hockey-football franchise, with more to come.

There's a second trend, the specialty team-or-conference channel. News Corp. recently spent $1.5 billion to buy half of the Yankees' YES Network, according to CNN , with an option to take 30% more.

The addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the Big Ten was all about adding markets for that league's WOOD-TV Big Ten Network . The trend is being followed by teams like the University of Texas, which has WOOD-TVa network run by ESPN.

As teams and leagues take control of their own programming, the price of their rights rises. That comes out of the bills you pay for cable or satellite television. You pay whether or not you watch these channels. ESPN has even done a deal with big cable ISPs for its ESPN3, WOOD-TV as Broadband Reports writes -- you pay for ESPN3 on your Internet bill whether or not you watch it.

What does this have to do with Apple TV? Plenty.

Accelerating bills for basic cable or satellite, driven by sports rights fees, create a bigger opportunity for those who can provide an unbundled alternative.

Netflix (NFLX - Get Report), Wal-Mart's (WMT) Hulu, Google (GOOG) and (AMZN) are all competing but they can't yet break down the programmers' resistance on more than just old shows, as part of a single-priced bundle.

That's what iTunes can do. The infrastructure is already there. It has already done this with music. A compelling product, with a business model people already support, is something cable networks will have to take notice of, and that's what Apple knows how to deliver.
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
AAPL $112.12 0.00%
CMCSA $60.49 0.00%
DIS $105.56 0.00%
NWS $14.11 0.00%
NFLX $113.33 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,084.49 +33.74 0.20%
S&P 500 2,014.89 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,830.47 +19.6820 0.41%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs