Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Will “Black Sails” Help Starz (STRZA) Navigate TV’s Choppy Waters?

First, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) decided it wanted to HBO. Now, Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) wants a piece of the action with an original program called Black Sails, due to air next January.


Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) pulled out the stops at San Diego Comic-Con with a large booth populated by a replica pirate ship meant to give visitors a feel for the show. Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) treated fans to a screening Thursday night during the con with music performed by show composer Bear McCreary, whose other credits include the reimagined Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.

The show, set 20 years before Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic book Treasure Island, focuses on pirates who face enemies all about as they fight to preserve a criminal haven known as New Providence Island. Executives no doubt hope the series and its dark undercurrent proves appealing to the tens of millions who have taken to Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

There’s merit to the plan. Offbeat and edgy original programming has proved to be an attractive alternative to network TV fare in recent years. Black Sails fits the mold.

Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) also needs the help. Revenue growth has gone missing as debt has ballooned since 2011. Meanwhile, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX)’s sweeping deal with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) means the network won’t have access to Marvel, Star Wars, and other popular properties come 2016. Executives have until then to develop a cost-effective portfolio of originals and licensed programs capable of igniting growth.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that original programming will pay off. Look at Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX). For as good a draw as House of Cards was, the new Arrested Development failed to draw even a million new members. Netflix shares sold off as a result, and that’s in spite of a significant earnings beat.

So while I’d love to believe Black Sails will take TV’s treasure island, as an investor, I’d rather add Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA) to my watchlist. Here’s how you can do the same.

The article Will “Black Sails” Help Starz Navigate TV’s Choppy Waters? originally appeared on is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix and Walt Disney at the time of publication. He was also long Jan. 2014 Netflix $50 call options. 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.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney.

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

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.