Prognosticator extraordinaire: Reader beats media pros

14)

Cable programming is changing. Which stock will appreciate most in 2007 (as of Dec. 1)?

a) Crown Media Holdings crwn (Hallmark Channel); b) Discovery disca; c) New Frontier noof (adult pay-per-view and VOD adult); d) Outdoor Channel Holdings outd; e) Viacom.

Answer A:Investors seem to like family programming. Crown was up a kingly 78%, while Discovery rose 58%. By contrast, Viacom was up 3%, Outdoor was down 46%, and New Frontier fell 51%.

15)

Which of these unconventional sports stocks will appreciate most in 2007 (as of Dec. 1)?

a) AVP (pro beach volleyball); b) International Fight League (martial arts); c) United States Basketball League; d) World Wrestling Entertainment.

Answer: D. None rose, but the WWE smacked down its rivals by falling just 3%. AVP fell 17%, USBL, 24%, and the International Fight League, 97%.

Tiebreaker:

Scholastic schl sold about 6.9 million copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the first 24 hours of release in July 2005, up from 5 million for the previous book in July 2003. How many copies of the seventh and final volume, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will sell in the first 24 hours?

Answer: 8.3 million. Harry was magic to the end.

What the experts predicted:

•Marla Backer (Research Associates):1-e, 2-b, 3-c, 4-c, 5-g, 6-d, 7-d, 8-a, 9-d, 10-a, 11-f, 12-b, 13-g, 14-a, 15-b, TB: 8.0.

•Greenberg:1-e, 2-c, 3-d, 4-d, 5-e, 6-d, 7-d, 8-f, 9-e, 10-c, 11-f, 12-c, 13-g, 14-e, 15-d, TB: 6.0.

•Greenfield:1-f, 2-c, 3-d, 4-d, 5-f, 6-d, 7-d, 8-b, 9-e, 10-e, 11-f, 12-c, 13-g, 14-e, 15-d, TB: 7.5.

•Hal Vogel (Vogel Capital Management):1-b, 2-b, 3-c, 4-d, 5-d, 6-c, 7-d, 8-b, 9-b, 10-c, 11-f, 12-a, 13-g, 14-b, 15-b, TB: 7.1.

•Tom Wolzien (Wolzien LLC):1-f, 2-c, 3-d, 4-d, 5-f, 6-e, 7-e, 8-f, 9-d, 10-b, 11-f, 12-b, 13-f, 14-NA, 15-NA; TB: 8.4.

•Coming this week:

USA TODAY's 2008 Media Prognostication Contest ballot. Enter by mail or online to test your media savvy against the pros.

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