The Challengers to ESPN’s Throne: Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), News Corp (NWSA)

If anyone is going to challenge ESPN over the next few years, it will have to be Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). They’re already jumping into the deep end right here in an effort to take away some market share, but it will be a challenge.

In order to win this game, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) will have to dig deep into their pockets and buy the rights to the sports that Americans watch the most of. The NHL is popular in the Northeast, but the same cannot be said for the South. Rights to MLB, NFL, and the NBA could really help propel this network further forward. The real winner would be a program on par with Sportscenter. If they can do that, with the right talent anchoring, then they could have a winner on their hands.

A Quick Look at ESPN

ESPN is the largest sporting network in the United States, there’s no doubting it. The network also happened to be the biggest division at one of the world’s largest media companies. It therefore makes sense that competitors would want a cut.

To take a cut from this thirty year old giant will be no easy task. They have the recognizable talent, they have the rights to top sporting events, and they have the rights to show all of the replays. They’ve been doing this for three decades without any real challenge; they know what they’re doing.

While Comcast and Fox are trying to set up their operations in the United States, ESPN is busy expanding around the world. Two of their newest and biggest markets are the UK and Asia. The network is already off to a great start in these regions, and the extra cash there will only allow them to buy up more rights.

Investor Takeaway

All three of these companies are strong. They all have a sturdy base outside of sports, and all of them will likely benefit from sports as the years go on.

The NBC Sports Network play is a tricky one to judge as ESPN has never truly had to face any tough competition. I believe that the network will do just fine, but whether it can take on ESPN or not is something that we’ll have to wait and see on.

If you’re an investor, and you’re looking for a cut of the sports game you should opt for Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) at this stage. They’re going to grow with their channel in a more prominent space on viewers’ guides. If you don’t want to wait around, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and ESPN are easy buys.

The article The Challengers to ESPN’s Throne originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Ash Anderson .

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

is written by