Does ESPN Finally Have a Challenger?

The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Austin talks about what could potentially be the most legitimate threat to ESPN's sports-viewing kingdom that the company has ever seen. Deep-pocketed global media company News Corp. has decided to challenge the network at its own game, and has announced its intentions for a rival sports network. ESPN is arguably the most valuable channel in any cable bundle, and commands a market premium of $5 a month, more than any other subscriber in cable, so it's easy to see why News Corp. wants a piece of the pie. Despite having a smaller market cap than Disney, News Corp. not only has more cash, but is arguably more focused on straight media than Disney, which must also support theme parks and cruise ships. While Disney still remains a long-term conviction buy for Austin, he recognizes this threat and has put the company on his watchlist to see how its efforts play out.

One of Disney's advantages over News Corp. is its international exposure through theme parks, and a continually strong brand overseas. Unfortunately this wasn't enough for it to qualify for our list of  "3 Companies Set to Dominate the World." You can read about those companies that did by clicking here now.

At the time this article was published Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney and Google.Motley Fool newsletter services recommendWalt Disney and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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