The WPT Enterprises
Last week, the company filed suit against the Travel Channel to keep it from interfering with negotiations to produce a second non-World Poker Tour-branded poker series for another cable network. WPT Enterprise's WPT show is the highest-rated show in the history of Discovery Holding's
Apparently, negotiations to produce the new Professional Poker Tour (PPT) series for the Travel Channel had broken down, and WPT had reportedly received an offer from another cable network for the show.
But this morning, WPT announced that the "other" cable network had withdrawn its offer, and WPT shares are now down almost 4% to $8.63 as a result.
WPT said that talks with the Travel Channel regarding the PPT have resumed. But here's what I'm taking away from this: With all of the new competition on the TV poker market, the demand simply isn't that great for a second poker series from WPT, and WPT may not have much pricing power.
Last week, I suggested that if the stock were to fall much further, an investor could conceivably pay fair value for WPT's profitable programming and product licensing businesses and get the online business -- the source of the stock's upside -- for free. Having said that, I don't think WPT sans online gaming is worth more than $6 or $7 per share. Furthermore, if WPT Online ends up being worthless, I certainly wouldn't want to pay $6 or $7 per share to be stuck with just the programming and product licensing businesses.
There are a couple of issues I have with the programming businesses. The first is that rival Harrah's Entertainment
Consider this hypothetical: If you had to choose between Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Activision's
The other issue is the conflict resulting from the way WPT is doing business. WPT filed suit against the Travel Channel -- clearly WPT's biggest ally -- so that it could essentially produce a competing (maybe halfway complementary) show for a rival network. And when WPT starts promoting WPT Online next year, the company plans to ask to exclude online competitors such as Party Gaming's
In aggregate, though, I think the "pay fair price for WPT and get WPT Online for free" idea has merit. WPT Online doesn't have to be a hit to make money, and I don't really see how it can miss at this point -- being a bit player isn't necessarily going to mean a lack of profitability, particularly with the cheap marketing WPT Online will get from the television show.
For more on WPT Enterprises, check out these Foolish stakes:
- Get WPT's Online Business Free
- WPT: Bet, Check, or Fold?
- Poker Writers: Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Brunson Bid Pumps WPT Enterprises
- WPT Bluffed Out
Activision is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation.
Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns none of the companies mentioned above.