Today’s teaser pitch is not new — I first saw this ad in April, 2014… and it’s been running off and on ever since, but we’ve gotten a lot of questions about it this week so we’re re-running it for you today. And I’ve left the comments from the original article at the end so you can see what your fellow readers were saying at the time.
What has changed since April of last year? Well, your top-secret “NuCable” company has indeed launched a somewhat more flexible cable subscription package this year — though that also got them sued by Disney’s ESPN, round one of a fight that will probably go on for quite some time… and despite that “revolutionary” move to kill cable television, the shares have not risen dramatically to “$100 to $150 to $185” as the ad teased back then (and continues to tease now), the stock is almost exactly where it was when this ad campaign started, just below $50.
Of course, it has also paid out $2.75 or so in dividends during that time, which is why most investors own the stock. Nothing to sneeze at.
Otherwise? Well, not much has changed — though your secret “NuCable” company (OK, fine, yes it’s Verizon — sorry to spoil the surprise) has actually been cutting back their investment in their fiber optic FiOS network of late because of its high cost, pricing has gotten a bit more competitive on the wireless side with T-Mobile and Sprint fighting for position, and their largest real competitor, AT&T, is still fighting to win regulatory approval for its acquisition of DirecTV.
I still own the shares, I’d argue that Verizon (sorry, “NuCable”) hasn’t fundamentally changed very much and is still trading largely like a utility, and with that I’ll leave you with the words we first shared in April of last year when the ad started running…
—from 4/10/14, not edited or revised–
“Ford Killed the Horse & Buggy.
“Microsoft Killed the Typewriter.
“Apple Killed the Compact Disc.
“Now Introducing… The Company That’s About to Kill Cable Television.”
That’s the intro to the latest ad from the Oxford Club… which thinks this secret company “NuCable” will be able to revolutionize the cable TV business and make all of our lives better (and, of course, make us rich). The spiel is much like growth stock pitches of the past, with intimations that if only you could have foreseen the market upheaval brought by Ford, Microsoft and Apple you would be rich … and now you have the chance to get in early on the next upheaval.
This is not all that different from the argument the Motley Fool has been making in their ads about “Television 2.0” for a year and a half, but this time the ad is from the Oxford Club, and this time they’re touting not the content owners (the Fool was teasing Disney, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Discovery) but an “upstart” competitor that’s going to be a better distributor than your cable company.
This is the crux of the argument:
“In what could be just a few months, a deep-pocketed and highly respected tech company will unveil a secret project that will soon become known as the “iTunes of the television industry.”
“I like to call it ‘NuCable.’ But keep in mind, virtually nobody knows about this yet.
“The products’ origins are somewhat shrouded in mystery…
“It was initially developed in a locked-down underground facility.
“(With no front door!)
“Only a handful of the project’s creators were allowed in through secure, underground tunnels.
“But for the vast number of people in America eternally frustrated with their cable companies, this secret project will be a godsend.”
And there’s plenty more — folks have been predicting an awesome next-generation television offering for more than a decade now, powered by the internet… and it’s sort of here, through services like Netflix and Apple TV and Hulu, but it’s not quite enough to overcome “real” TV. Here’s a bit more from the ad:
“Americans are ready for a cable alternative that really works. And in the coming months they’re finally going to get it.Are you getting our free Daily Update
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“The Consumers Are Ready… The Media Is Buzzing… And ‘NuCable’ Is the Perfect Storm
“Over the last few months, details have finally started to emerge. And what I’m seeing is exactly what millions of cable customers have been crying out for.
“Keep in mind, there’s only a few media members privy to the technology behind what I’m calling ‘NuCable.’
“But they’re ALL buzzing with excitement…
“Business Insider calls it a ‘Holy Grail for consumers.’
“Forbes predicts, ‘It will kill the cable industry as we know it.’
“Reuters says the product goes beyond anything Apple or Netflix offers… Daily Finance is calling it a ‘game changer.'”
Any more clues for us? We do get a bit …
“This firm’s share prices have stayed comfortably in the mid-40s over the last year.
“But I can easily see it launching up to $100 to $150 to $185 once NuCable goes live… Even reaching Google levels of $1200, once millions of Americans make the switch.”
(And he includes a chart of this stock, with the name blacked out, going up from the high-$40s to $250 in 2014. Which is, frankly, ridiculous…. more on that in a minute.)
A few more clues for those of you playing along at home? Sure…
“The company behi