The Best Brands in Television

Three Fools take to the Internet to discuss the best names in TV.

May 25, 2014 at 7:00AM

Dany Dragon Game Of Thrones

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Credit: HBO.

BrandZ is out with its list of the world's most valuable brands. Most of the big names are tech titans or consumer products standouts. What of the geekier businesses we love and follow? What are the best brands in, say, television?

Guest host Alison Southwick puts this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this episode of 1-Up on Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) subsidiary HBO is the top brand in TV, arguing that no other network possesses as rich or successful a mix of drama and comedy programming. Consider the Season 4 opener for Game of Thrones, which has enjoyed fast-growing ratings -- just months after the True Detective finale crashed HBO GO's servers. Ongoing investments in existing (i.e., Veep) and new (i.e., Silicon Valley) comedies and edgier series round out a lineup that's producing accelerating operating income for Warner.

Nathan agrees, noting that Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has largely taken its template for original series from HBO. He also says AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) might a good second choice for investors who want a pure-play cable bet, though it's also worth remembering that we're in the early stages of understanding how well newer programs will fill the voids left by Breaking Bad and Mad Men, which is in the midst of its final season.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave a comment below to tell us your picks for the best brands in television. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

What will you do when your TV shuts off for good?
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Neither Alison Southwick nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Netflix and Time Warner. The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks and Netflix and owns shares of Netflix. 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.

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.

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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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