The Best Brands in Television

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!

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