WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- Time is a friend few have in newly developed, fast-breaking industries. That is why it's essential to mention--and define--time frames when it comes to businesses like Netflixundefined However, when you look at coverage of the Netflix deal with DreamWorks (DWA) for Internet video rights, the media fell short.
2013 is the key. That's when the multiyear agreement starts. A start date that far out on the horizon holds meaning for two reasons. Number one, Netflix has been struggling recently and the deal will be of no near-term help. That is significant.
Two, the streaming video business is new. When a business is in its larval stage, anything can happen--and usually does. The business might look very different in 2013 than it does today. There might be better competition: just yesterday
announced its own deal with
Twentieth Century Fox
Or the business will take on an unforeseen shape. Point is, you don't know. Time is no friend.
In early stages of coverage after the Netflix/DreamWorks announcement, many (including Marketwatch) did not even mention 2013. Later most did, but a good chunk didn't get around to it until lower down in their articles and, like The Associated Press, failed to explain the full significance of the risk that time plays on an entity like Netflix.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.
Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.
For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
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