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Cordcutter News Brief - The FBI warns about smart TV security, you can now record ESPN channels on Sling, NBC News Now staffs up for 24/7 expansion, and more!

December 13, 2019 - 18:21 -- RokuGuide

Cordcutter News BriefIn this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: The FBI warns about smart TV security, you can now record ESPN channels on Sling, NBC News Now staffs up for 24/7 expansion, Roku under siege from Amazon and Apple, families are the fastest growing cord-cutting demographic, and Netflix is paying to advertise on your Roku remote.

The FBI warns about smart TV security

"If you just bought a smart TV on Black Friday or plan to buy one for Cyber Monday tomorrow, the FBI wants you to know a few things,"says TechCrunch. "[L]ike anything that connects to the internet, it opens up smart TVs to security vulnerabilities and hackers. Not only that, many smart TVs come with a camera and a microphone. But as is the case with most other internet-connected devices, manufacturers often don’t put security as a priority." TechCrunch quotes an FBI press release that warns, "Beyond the risk that your TV manufacturer and app developers may be listening and watching you, that television can also be a gateway for hackers to come into your home."

You can now record ESPN channels on Sling

Just in time for college bowl games, Sling announced that they have enabled Cloud DVR on ESPN channels, so you can enjoy your favorite sports on your time. Plus, they're giving you full DVR controls on all recordable channels. "Slingers are now able to record programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ACC Network, SEC Network, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNEWS and ESPNU. So if they want to watch their favorite team winning an epic bowl game over and over, now they can!" Click here for more information on Sling TV.

NBC News Now staffs up for 24/7 expansion

"NBCUniversal has announced a series of production staff hirings for NBC News Now, as it staffs up its free-to-consumer, ad-supported streaming news service ahead of its expansion to a 24/7 format next year,"Multichannel News reports. "NBC said its platform has seen in excess of 27% monthly audience growth since launch and that users are averaging 63 minutes of view time per session on NBC News Now's top OTT platform, Amazon Fire TV."

Roku under siege from Amazon and Apple

"More than 30 million people use a Roku device to navigate the constellation of streaming TV services,"Bloomberg reports, But "[h]aving built the dominant box, Roku is under siege from companies that recognize the value of its business model. Google sells a competing smart TV operating system. Samsung sells more than a dozen smart TVs that don't use Roku's operating system. Comcast Corp. is giving its internet subscribers a free streaming box. AT&T Inc. is offering a box for its customers. Apple Inc. is investing billions in streaming shows designed in part to strengthen the appeal of its hardware. But Roku's biggest challenger is Inc., which is vying for tie-in deals for its Fire TV with smart TV manufacturers and battling for supremacy in international markets."

Families are the fastest growing cord-cutting demographic

Fox Business says that "[f]amilies are the leading demographic when it comes to cord-cutting, a recent analysis shows, as streaming services try to edge out traditional cable TV services by offering a cheaper and more personalized alternative. According to fuboTV's 'Portrait of a Cord-Cutter' report, families with a parent 35-54 with two or three children are also most likely to stick with a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu after canceling traditional cable TV service. The parent is typically a working professional with a college or advanced degree."

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Netflix is paying to advertise on your Roku remote

Referring to the dedicated quick launch buttons for services like Netflix, Hulu, and Sling on your Roku remote, Mashable says that "streaming services pay for their own dedicated space on your remote, and they pay Roku $1 per customer for each of those buttons. So, for example, every Roku remote sold with four of those dedicated buttons on it nets the company an additional $4 on top of whatever each customer paid for it." may receive a referral fee for any purchases or subscriptions made through links on this page. See our full FTC Disclosure Statement for more information.