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Are you ready for some football??

July 15, 2009 - Steve Schulwitz
Are you ready for some football? On your iPhone or Blackberry? In an attempt to cash-in on the SmartPhone craze, Direct TV and the NFL are offering an application that will provide SmartPhone users telecasts of the NFL games, on their handheld devices. Here's the catch. In order to download the app, you must first purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket ($279.95) from the satellite provider AND the Super Fan stat-tracker ($100) to get access to the phone program. Is there a play in the stock market in this? Of course. Well, the obvious choice is to grab some shares of DirectTV (climbed 94 cents today) and short it. Hold it until the company reports Q2 earnings on August 6. Use the NFL platform as a catalyst and then sell the minute the earning results are released, no matter how good or bad. This is not a stock to build your retirement around, but anything related to SmartPhones is as good as gold right now. It is still a possibility, although a longshot, that AT&T (T) or Verizon (VZ) could swoop in during the next year or so and purchase DirectTV, or DISH Network. Both cell network providers have shown increased interest in expanding into the satellite television market and a merger would surprise no one. The NFL package could be a huge boost to DirectTV's bottom line for the short term. Major League Baseball offers a similar application( which I own) that provides audio and video access to every game, along with stats and data. It has been listed in the top 100, paid applications on iTunes since the end of spring training and settled in the top 10 for a good chunk of that time. The baseball program rocks, and it will be a mainstay in my phone every year from here on out. Is that enough to coax fans out of nearly $400? With all the fantasy leagues out there,I think so. Is it enough to make someone run out and purchase an iPhone, I wish. One thing is for sure though. The NFL has found another way to dip its fingers into our pockets, but at the same time deliver the quickest and most convenient way yet to enjoy the big game.


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