One, until Netflix (NFLX) establishes franchises equal in stature -- and viewership -- to Hockey Night in Canada or Game of Thrones, it will always be a nice bit player with much bigger bark than bite.
Two, it's foolish for companies such as Apple (AAPL) to get into the content game. Given the fierce competition, it's more trouble than it's worth. Apple needs to focus on enhancing user experiences, not operating as a broadcaster.
The Leafs, along with the Montreal Canadiens (Bell has a minority stake in that franchise), are staples of Hockey Night in Canada. Rogers and Bell, as part of their MLSE acquisition own Leafs TV, a network that airs Leafs games. Rogers owns regional sports networks, including one that airs Leafs games. And Bell owns The Sports Network (TSN), Canada's version of ESPN. TSN gets a few Leafs games every year. CBC, through HNIC, generally gets Leafs games on Saturday nights.
Why would Rogers and Bell allow a competitor to air marque games of a franchise it owns? It makes very little sense. The two companies didn't drop a billion dollars to give away a significant chunk of Leafs hockey to the competition. It's just not going to happen. And, while NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will likely speak highly of CBC, he has no loyalty to the network, but he does to the league's owners.Rogers and Bell hold the cards in Canada. In the U.S., companies such as Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWSA) and Comcast dictate the pace of meaningful innovation. In other words, as long as you control crucial appointment viewing such as the NFL, NBA and MLB, you call the shots. That means moving along consumer behaviors such as a cord-cutting at your own speed, not Netflix's. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
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