If it wasn’t for my TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) finding shows like Monk and The 4400 for me, I don’t think I’d ever remember to watch them. I don’t even know what’s on TV this year, as there are now a dozen networks releasing new shows, and the noise of the 99% that stink makes it very, very hard to find something worth watching.
The premise of this “new” viewing paradigm is that you will devote hours of your time to watching the worst of all possible junk in order to find one show you like, then you will create a “buzz” and tell your friends who will virally market the show until 20 million people a week are downloading it. Go to www.youtube.com right now and find something you like so much you want to buzz all your friends. Hard isn’t it?
If this kind of marketing worked, Sienfeld would have told NBC to drop dead a long time ago. If anyone is going to take advantage of this thing it will be major networks, like Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) or Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIA), or perhaps the cable operators, who don’t shy away from investing money, and could easily experiment with a few new channels of free content.
I like Liberty Global Inc. (NASDAQ:LBTYA) in the European market and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) in the U.S., as they have the double-whammy of providing both digital cable and internet access. In the case of all these picks, I like them long but I would prefer a pullback before jumping in.