AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz

T-Mobile, which has risen to become the nation's third-largest wireless provider, is buying digital cable startup Layer3 TV to launch a nationwide digital internet-TV service in 2018, the company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: T-Mobile joins AT&T and Verizon in launching its own video service, creating another challenger to traditional cable and satelite TV providers, which have been losing pay-TV subscribers as they migrate towards cheaper, digital options.

  • T-Mobile has been pushing to stay compeitive in the race for wireless consumers for years through partnerships with Netflix and unlimited data offerings. The company discussed a merger with Sprint earlier this year, but talks fell through after neither company could decide which entity would take majority stake in the merger.
  • The announcement falls in line with T-Mobile's pitch that it is a more consumer-friendly option than big cable proviers like AT&T and Verizon. Layer3's bundle does not look the same as some of the other "skinny bundles" out there, like AT&T's DirectTV or Dish' Sling. It's pricer, but offers more digital HD channels (275), as well as high-end DVR capabitilies and access to other digital apps.
  • T-Mobile executives also stressed how much it values relationships with content providers, saying there are "no holes" in its relationships with content providers on a call with reporters and investors Wednesday. (Pay-TV providers and TV networks have been increasingly getting in fights over the cost of programming, which affects consumers' access to programming.)

Go deeper

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.