Updated Apr 28, 2018

Cable companies take a hit as cord-cutting picks up speed

Two kids watch cartoons online on an iPad tablet. Photo: Artur Debat / Contributor

"More customers are dropping cable TV as they turn toward streaming services like Netflix Inc., a fundamental shift in consumer behavior that was on display this week in painful earnings reports from cable and telecommunications companies," The Wall Street Journal's Shalini Ramachandran writes on the front page.

Amazing stat: "The upheaval in the pay-TV economy is stark. From the beginning of 2015 through the end of last year, nine million Americans have either cut the cord or chosen not to buy a traditional cable package when moving into new households, according to estimates from MoffettNathanson."

Behind the numbers: "As viewers flee traditional TV for streaming-video services, Netflix has arguably been the biggest winner, adding subscribers at home and abroad at a clip that has outpaced Wall Street’s expectations."

"Other tech companies are also angling to capitalize on consumers’ changing habits. Amazon.com Inc. now has more than 100 million customers for its Prime subscription service, which includes a video offering the company has been pouring money into, including a deal on Thursday to keep streaming NFL games."

  • "Google Inc. is ramping up its YouTube TV streaming service, an online bundle of cable channels that competes with the likes of Hulu Live and Sony PlayStation Vue."
  • "And Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. have each set aside as much as $1 billion for original programming meant to lure more viewers away from traditional TV."

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Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

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Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

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An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.