Images

Source: The Hollywood Reporter.

Tonight brings the Primetime Emmy awards. So, to capture the spirit, I decided to look at the highest-performing TV stocks of the past year and name a winner -- a stock I'd "buy" in CAPS to hold for the next year.

Now, without further ado, the nominees:

Stock
CAPS Stars
(Out of 5)
1-Year Return
Networks

21st Century Fox

**

31.6%

Fox, FX, Fox News, Fox Sports

AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX)

***

58.4%

AMC, IFC, WE tv, Sundance

CBS

***

47.9%

CBS, Showtime

Comcast

**

22.6%

NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCK)

*****

34%

Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet

Netflix

**

443%

Netflix

Starz

****

(73.8%)

Starz, Encore

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX)

**

40%

TNT, TBS, CW, Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO

Viacom

****

52.9%

MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

*****

23.3%

ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Google Finance, The Hollywood Reporter.

I know, I've excluded Amazon.com from the list. We're just too early in the company's development process for original series to seriously consider the e-tailer a "TV stock."

Which of the remainder do I like best right now? I'll stick with five-star-rated Disney, which we own in the Beyers Family Portfolio. More on why in a minute. First, it's worth noting that Fools like Shark Week creator Discovery about as much, and that's despite a dalliance with dubious programming choices.

Now, back to my top pick and two runners-up. Disney gets the investing Emmy for its light touch with Marvel, which has allowed studio boss Kevin Feige to hire top-notch talent for handling the company's superhero assets. The formula should play just as well on TV, when Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes its debut Tuesday on ABC.

AMC ranks second on my list, and not just because I'm a fan of The Walking Dead. The network has more than 60 properties in development, and that includes what could be lucrative spinoffs of both TWD and new-found ratings winner Breaking Bad.

And third? Put me down for Time Warner. While the company's DC Entertainment subsidiary has suffered some well-deserved controversy (this article has more), efforts to create franchises around its iconic characters are taking hold -- notably, Man of Steel, which earned more than $660 million at the worldwide box office, and Arrow, a ratings winner for the CW network that's slowly becoming a springboard for new properties.

Now it's time for me to rate Disney in CAPS. Then it's your turn to weigh in. Which stock would you give an investing Emmy to? Which TV stocks do you own? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix, Time Warner, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. He was also long Jan. 2014 $50 Netflix call options. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, Netflix, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Amazon.com, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.