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Media & Comm, editor's picks: World Cup rights holders score; AI not a threat

Here are the editor's top picks for the week.

World Cup: Ad sales tight for FOX Sports, Telemundo as tourney nears

U.S. World Cup rights holders FOX Sports and Telemundo Deportes expect to hit advertising goals with the FIFA tournament set to begin June 14 in Russia, despite time-zone and other challenges that could dampen U.S. interest in the 2018 soccer tourney. The U.S. rights holders, meanwhile, scored a golden goal of sorts June 13 when the majority of FIFA's 211 member nations voted for a united bid from the U.S., Mexico and Canada to host the 2026 World Cup.

AT&T/Time Warner cited as new M&A precedent, but legal experts advise caution

AT&T Inc.'s decisive legal victory in arguing that its purchase of Time Warner Inc. would not harm competition in the U.S. video distribution industry is expected to touch off a wave of dealmaking, but legal experts cautioned that the judge's ruling should not be read too broadly.

Data Dispatch: Sweden leads SVOD market in the Nordics as streaming giants ramp up originals

Sweden is set to lead the growing subscription video-on-demand market in the Nordics as global online video platforms ramp up investments in original content in the region. With more online video subscribers than all of its Scandinavian counterparts, Sweden is expected to deliver the most SVOD revenues over the next four years, according to estimates by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Data Dispatch: Tencent's video, gaming business challenges Alibaba in cloud computing race

While Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. commands an estimated 60% of the fiercely contested cloud computing market in China, the e-commerce giant finds itself challenged by tech rival Tencent Holdings Ltd., largely due to the company's rapidly expanding gaming and video business. A breakdown of both companies' earnings shows that Alibaba's cloud computing revenue increased between 2015 and 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 118%, to 11.17 billion yuan.

Conference Chatter: CogX 2018: Artificial intelligence won't create killer robots, mass disruption

Researchers at CogX, an annual artificial intelligence conference in London, said the industry should do more to counter fears about super-intelligent machines or autonomous robots acting against human interests. Speakers at CogX largely dismissed the idea of killer robots as a Hollywood fantasy and a fearmongering distraction from the much-needed development of AI in crucial areas such as energy, healthcare and transportation.