Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



"True Detective" Leaves a Mystery Unsolved, and It's a Doozy

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the co-stars of the HBO hit True Detective, didn't just break the case they'd been chasing for eight episodes when the season finale aired last week. They also broke the Internet.

"Form and Void" drew an impressive 1.6 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, reeling in more than 3.5 million live viewers -- 33% more than its prior season high. (Episode 6, "Haunted Houses," drew 2.64 million viewers.) Many more tuned in online, only to be frustrated when overwhelming demand for the live-streamed finale hobbled HBO Go:

Researcher Sandvine plots the HBO Go that left millions of online viewers unable to watch the True Detective finale. Credit: Sandvine.

What can we take from this as investors? When it comes to TV, the Internet isn't ready for prime time. The infrastructure for delivering flawless signal isn't available, which at least partly explains why Netflix struck a deal with Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA  ) to get direct, Tier 1 access to its network.

My guess is we'll see more such deals soon enough. In the meantime, as investors, I think there are two areas we need to be watching:

1. The backbone. With more traffic than ever flowing through the Internet's byways, it's important to note that the interconnection points -- where the corporate-controlled federations that comprise the Internet come together -- are still in need of upgrading. Think of them as old pipes incapable of handling the high-pressure water streams flowing through a new house with modern appliances. Adding new, hyper-fast connections should allow for faster delivery of high-density multimedia such as television broadcasts. Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN  ) is better positioned than most to profit from the upgrade cycle.

2. The last mile. A faster backbone won't matter much if the gateway to your computer or set-top box is cripplingly slow. Upgrades to last-mile connections managed by cable providers is essential to seamless Internet TV delivery, which is why I think we'll see more deals like that struck between Netflix and Comcast, or creative options like a high-capacity Chromecast that just stores more of the content you like right there in your living room.

We've known about weaknesses in the Internet TV delivery mechanism for a while. The trouble with the True Detective finale merely clarified them and, in the process, accelerated what I suspect is a massive investing opportunity. I'm looking forward to cashing in.

Six more chances to strike it rich investing in disruptive innovation
Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner was one of the first to bet on the Internet TV revolution by recommending Netflix in 2003, and he's been piling up remarkable stock gains in other innovators ever since: 926%, 2,239%, and 4,317%, to name a few. One of his picks has even returned more than 100 times his buy-in price. Find out more about David's process in a new special report that includes six more of his picks poised for outrageous growth. Don't worry, it's free -- just click here now for your copy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2880192, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2015 6:58:32 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

Today's Market

updated 9 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,058.35 -469.68 -2.84%
S&P 500 1,913.85 -58.33 -2.96%
NASD 4,636.11 -140.40 -2.94%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/1/2015 3:59 PM
INFN $21.51 Down -0.31 -1.42%
Infinera CAPS Rating: *****
CMCSA $55.02 Down -1.31 -2.33%
Comcast Corp CAPS Rating: ***