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Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic will drive cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever, according to the most recent data from eMarketer.

Driving the news: Entertainment giants are beginning to pivot from linear TV t0 streaming, but with that pivot comes messy math.

  • Cord-cutting: At least 3 large media firms expect to lose 50 million traditional TV subscribers in the next five years. per CNBC. AT&T and Verizon both reported sluggish earnings around their media businesses last quarter.
  • Long-tail channels: Networks have discussed further cutting long-tail cable channels that are weighing down bundle negotiations. Some of the "long-tail" channels being floated in reports are household names, like E! and Oxygen.
  • Regional sports: Regional sports networks are struggling to reach distribution deals as the pandemic eats at live sports. Creditors are eyeing a possible debt restructuring of Sinclair's regional sports unit.

What's next: The simultaneous pivot will force even more competition onto the already saturated streaming landscape. Netflix shares tumbled last week after missing modest Q3 subscriber forecasts.

  • HBO Max was able to double what it calls "activations" to its service last quarter, but activations are sign-ups to its service from people already paying for the app via their cable subscription.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
9 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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