It's March Madness, even if you don't care about college basketball.
Beyond the hard-court dribbles later this month, there are plenty of companies circling important dates. Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open.
TiVo sorely needs to live up to the hype. Despite the litany of partnerships and successful patent-protecting cases, the company continues to ooze subscribers.
It's not necessarily TiVo's fault. The growing options for online on-demand streaming have quieted the urgency of recording a show the moment it airs. For TiVo's sake, let's hope tomorrow's introduction is either mind-blowing innovation or a time machine for it to get back to a point when the playing field wasn't so level.
Beyond the green-beer revelry of St. Patrick's Day, Nike
The financials will matter, of course, but the meaty questions during the company's conference call may pertain to the footwear and apparel giant's loyalty to Tiger Woods. A few sponsors have made a clean break from the disgraced golfer, but not the sultan of swoosh.
"When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now," Nike CEO Phil Knight said shortly after the scandal broke.
Woods' recent apology may soothe some critics, but one has to wonder how long Nike will continue to sponsor him if he doesn't return to the greens (and not of the St. Patrick's Day variety).
This should be the moment of truth for Netflix
Time Warner feels that this window will help stir up sales, as it claims that it moves 75% of its DVD copies during the first 28 days on the market. Netflix and Coinstar will be getting price breaks for agreeing to the tiered strategy, but what will it mean for how couch potatoes perceive the two services?
The Blind Side was one of last year's biggest box office hits, and demand will only get healthier if the film fares well during this month's Academy Awards. Netflix has already kept The Invention of Lying and Time Traveler's Wife from its subscribers under similar Time Warner windows this year, but this is the first time that a bona fide blockbuster will be available through DVD rental chains and video on demand but not through Netflix queues.
Consumer electronics superstore Best Buy
Who has the hot smartphone? Did video game sales pick up? Is 3-D television for real? Best Buy doesn't break down its results to answer these questions, but you never know what deep-diving queries will be posed by analysts on the call.
Is Nintendo (OTCBB: NTDOY.PK) ready to make the leap into more functional consumer gadgetry? It releases its DSi XL in North America on March 28.
The handheld gaming device features a screen that is 93% larger than the current model. The meatier display is opening the door for Nintendo to make a run at the booming e-book market. One of the first available titles is a collection of classic novels, and the built-in Wi-Fi connectivity will make digital delivery of books, newspapers, and magazines a breeze.
There are limitations here, so this may not be a Kindle or iPad slayer, but the $189 price point should turn heads.
What are you looking forward to this month, beyond your NCAA tournament brackets? Check in with your expectations in the comment box below.
Best Buy, Netflix, and Nintendo are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy, which is also a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves March but not the madness. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for TiVo. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.