The 2016 Olympics came to a close on Sunday night, and like any closing ceremony it was a bittersweet experience. The global athletic competitions have been impressive, but now the attention turns to the programming void left behind.
Let's take a closer look at some of the publicly traded companies that are now relieved that the Olympics are over.
The world's leading premium video streaming service knows all about the impact that the Olympics can have on the popularity of its platform. It warned in 2012 that the intensive two blocks of sports programming could eat into its usage -- and it did.
"[T]his quarter the Olympics are likely to have a negative impact on Netflix viewing and sign-ups," Netflix wrote about Q3 2012 in his shareholder letter detailing Netflix's second quarter results in 2012.
Netflix wound up falling short of its net subscriber additions for that quarter, something that rarely happens given the dot-com darling's track record of issuing conservative guidance. Will that play itself out again? The stock had already taken a hit after the guidance was surprisingly weak for the current quarter. Attracting new customers and keeping existing ones around is probably harder now than it was four years ago when the service was cheaper.
Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE)
Unless you're running a chain of sports bars, the Olympics can naturally be a distraction. Folks are rushing home to watch the games, eating at home or ordering in instead of going out to dinner.
Cheesecake Factory commands one of the highest unit volumes in the industry. It's a credit to its success, but it also means that it has to keep tables turning to make the most of its situation. The past two weeks were probably rough, and the chain saw it coming.
"I think there is a lot of other noise in the quarter that has to do with Olympics and presidential debates and all that stuff that we factored in as well," the casual dining chain noted in its quarterly earnings call earlier this month, just before the Olympics began.
Cheesecake Factory would go on to explain that it was counting on comps clocking in about 1% lower than they would have without the one-time distractions. A couple of other chains have joined Cheesecake Factory in pointing to the potential lull in casual dining during the Olympic Games, and now with the games in the rearview mirror the restaurant industry better hope that hungry patrons storm back.
Unlike Netflix and Cheesecake Factory, Fitbit isn't the kind of company that suffers during the Olympics. If anything, watching athletes in their prime excelling makes this a popular time for mainstream audiences to commit to getting back in shape and leading healthier lives.
There will be plenty of gyms and athletic footwear makers benefiting from the afterglow of the games in Rio, but the same can also be said about Fitbit. The leading maker of fitness trackers should be getting a workout of its own as folks that were watching the games over the past two weeks get off their couches with a desire to track their activities.
Fitbit has already sold 10.5 million devices through the first half of 2016. The second half of the year should provide an even bigger boost, especially if some of its new wearable gadgetry items take off.
Rick Munarriz owns shares of Fitbit and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Fitbit. 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.