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Tara Lachapelle

Comcast's Bad Omen for AT&T

If the cable giant is still losing lots of video subscribers, the picture may be worse at AT&T's DirecTV.

Comcast doesn't have to worry much about a shrinking pay-TV business, but AT&T does.

Comcast doesn't have to worry much about a shrinking pay-TV business, but AT&T does.

Photographer: Charles Mostoller/Bloomberg

Cord-cutting isn’t stopping. As it turns out, that’s not such bad news for cable giants like Comcast Corp. It is, however, for AT&T Inc. 

The streaming wars intensified in the fourth quarter amid Walt Disney Co.’s advertising blitz for its new Disney+ service that overtook billboards, shopping malls, public transit and Twitter feeds. At the same time, Apple Inc. began giving away Apple TV+ free to anyone buying a new iDevice of some sort. Comcast is the first of the traditional media giants to report results for this period, giving a glimpse on Thursday morning at how the pay-TV industry fared as consumers were given more reasons than ever before to ditch cable, skip the box office and start streaming from their couches.