For Starz, "Black Sails" Is Suddenly Looking Adrift

Weakening viewership comes at a bad time, one Fool says.

Feb 15, 2014 at 3:00PM

Black Sails may have a tough time keeping a crew of regular viewers, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

The show, a Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) original, drew in a combined 3.5 million viewers in its debut weekend on a base of 850,000 who tuned in live. Impressive, right? No doubt. And yet the wind may be turning against Black Sails. Episode 3 saw live viewership drop to just 670,000, a 20% decline.

Should investors be concerned? Tim says it's too soon to panic, especially with Outlander and its built-in audience of rabid fans waiting in the wings. Still, it's clear Black Sails isn't getting the reaction Starz hoped for when it pre-emptively ordered a second season on the heels of a positive screening at last summer's San Diego Comic-Con.

Mediocre reviews probably aren't helping. Only 58% of critics and 75% of audiences like the show as of this writing, according to Plenty of other action-packed epics are earning more raves, including The Blacklist (82% fresh), Helix (84% fresh), and The Walking Dead (90% fresh). They've set a high bar that, so far, Black Sails hasn't found a way to clear. Don't let that keep you out of the stock entirely if you're interested in taking a position, Tim says. Just be sure to make it a small one.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Are you watching Black Sails? If so, how do you rate it compared to the alternatives? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take and then leave a comment to let us know what you think, and whether you would buy, sell, or short Starz stock at current prices.

A sea change is on the horizon
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. 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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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