Syfy Unleashes a Sharknado Attack

The newly-aggressive Comcast subsidiary takes a page from Discovery in rolling out its first-ever “Sharknado Week.”

May 27, 2014 at 7:04PM

Yes, there is a sequel. And it blows in on July 30. Credit: Syfy.

Get ready for more Great Whites. In what looks like a naked attempt to win viewers who each year tune in for Discovery's (NASDAQ:DISCA) "Shark Week," Syfy has unveiled plans for its own lineup of shark-themed content, highlighted by the world premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One.

Dubbed "Sharknado Week," Syfy's programming includes Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark on July 26, Sharkmania: The Top 15 Biggest Baddest Bloodiest Bites on July 27, Sharknado 2: The Second One on July 30, and Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda -- a new Roger Corman monster movie -- on Aug. 2.

My guess is Discovery won't suffer much from Syfy's Sharknado shenanigans, especially since "Shark Week" doesn't begin until Aug. 10. Tens of millions tune in to watch the channel's various shark-themed specials if history is any guide.

So why should investors care what Syfy does? Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) second-largest source of operating profit is NBC's cable networks, and Syfy is still one of its major subsidiaries. (Along with Bravo, E!, and USA Network.) "Sharknado Week" offers yet another chance for the network to prove its bonafides while remaking the lineup.

Don't take my word for it; look at the numbers. Sharknado attracted more than 5 million viewers over three airings last July, Variety reports. Mix in a follow-up merchandising deal and $1.2 million in DVD and Blu-ray sales and you've one of the better B-movie debuts in recent memory.

Mix in bigger investments in horror dramas such as Helix and this summer's Legion plus four new comic book adaptations and unscripted programming such as The Wil Wheaton Project and a path to renewed growth emerges.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you like Syfy's strategy? Will you be tuning in for "Sharknado Week"? Please leave your take in the comments section below, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Comcast stock at current prices.

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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.

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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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