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Writers' Strike: Who "Cleans Up" While Hollywood Stands Still

Friday, 9 Nov 2007 | 4:52 PM ET

The writers' strike is bad for the media companies--network ratings are already dropping, which means ad revenues will follow. And the longer a strike lasts the worse it gets. But it's not ALL bad as some companies will actually cash in on an on-air content vacuum. And I'm not just talking about the people producing on-air content and the companies broadcasting it. Those are private, start-ups. I'm talking about public companies that will really get a boost.

Without new TV programming people will watch a lot more DVDs. Sure, they're rent more movies, but all those reruns on TV will probably inspire people to rent TV shows--the first season of Desperate Housewives, Seinfeld, etc., so that's good news for Netflix and Blockbuster.

Netflix
AP
Netflix

Now Netflix stock has jumped so much just since August, and now has so many new competitors, it might not be the best investment despite the boost its bound to get. But take a look at Blockbuster. It's broadened beyond its stores--it's "total access" plan gives Netflix-like online access, plus the flexibility of returning DVDs to stores. And since acquiring MovieLink, the online movie streaming service, Blockbuster also has that digital distribution play.

The longer the strike lasts, the more they benefit. In the meantime, watch all your favorite shows before they go off the air. I'm personally quite sad that "The Office" will revert to reruns after November 15. So sad.

Here's a cheat sheet of where the various shows stand at this point.

Writers' Strike Trade
There's a trade in the screenwriters' strike, reports CNBC's Julia Boorstin

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.