Like a TV show? I mean really like it, so much you’d like to invest in it?
There should be a way of making this kind of investment -- some would say, wager. This wouldn’t be
about buying CBS, Time Warner, or 21st Century Fox. It would be about investing in specific programming.
Think fantasy football, baseball, or other sports -- on a somewhat bigger
scale. Pick your own shows and create your own network team. Want to marry "The Voice," “The View" and “Vampire Diaries”? Knock yourself out -- and then think about the
promotion and marketing.
Ratings might only tell one part of the story. Social media value, face-to-face word-of-mouth marketing, and other buzz might be of interest.
This idea is not so far-fetched. On Thursday
, Fantex Holdings announced a marketplace for investors to
buy and sell interests in professional athletes with stocks tied to the value and performance of an athlete’s brand.
It may be too late to get much financial gain from, say, a
high-priced LeBron James, Peyton Manning, or Miguel Cabrera. But what about some up-and-coming player? On the TV side, what if you had had some stock in, say, ABC’s “Scandal” about a
year and half ago -- or perhaps in A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” early on?
In the old days, more than a few media buying executives usually picked up-and-coming
broadcast shows. Nowadays, media buyers need to buy many more shows with existing decent ratings to aggregate impressions and grab reach.
More recently, specific online gaming
efforts have existed around the idea of buying and selling entertainment -- The Hollywood Stock Exchange,
for one. Visitors can buy and sell
“virtual” shares of celebrities, movies, actors, and now TV shows with “virtual” HSX dollars.
Like professional sports athletes, TV shows have fanatical
followings. So it’s not surprising that efforts to monetize such popularity should arise. If Fantex or other companies start real investment opportunities for TV shows, they should of course
come with some natural warnings.
In its marketing materials, Fantex says, “The offering is highly speculative and the securities involve a high degree of risk.” Risk: that's
something all TV producers know really well.