Apple May Strike Pay-TV Partnership With UK's British Telecom, Pre-Loading Apple TVs With BT Apps

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Apple is reportedly holding discussions with United Kingdom-based British Telecom (BT) over a partnership that would make BT's mobile brand EE a "major distributor" of Apple TV devices. Specifically, the telecommunications brand would offer Apple TVs to EE customers, coming pre-loaded with apps that deliver pay-TV content like BT Sport and channels from other broadcasters (via The Telegraph).


For Apple, the deal would get Apple TVs into the hands of more customers and increase the potential viewership for its upcoming slate of original TV programming, expected in 2019. While BT has invested in building its own set-top boxes to compete with Apple, Amazon, and Sky, BT consumer chief Marc Allera kicked off a new strategy earlier in May to begin "forging deeper partnerships with technology giants."

Apple's partnership with BT is said to be similar to the company's existing deal in Switzerland with telecoms operator and pay-TV provider Salt. Apple has also partnered with Verizon, which will offer customers an Apple TV 4K as part of its residential broadband package coming to four cities this year.

In regards to Apple's original programming, the first of Apple's television shows could debut as soon as March of 2019, potentially through a new video streaming service subscription. The company is also reportedly considering a single subscription bundle offering customers access to TV, Apple Music, and digital magazines (through its Texture acquisition).

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
27 months ago
Let's please not start pre-loading 3rd party apps onto iOS devices.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

How about a nice metallic sticker on the top of the unit, too? "BT Inside".

Why stop with just the main unit?



Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

EE is not a brand of BT!

It is, I'm afraid.

BT bought EE in January 2016.

They kept the 'EE' name and branding for the cellular service, but integrated the core business operations into BT.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago

Let's please not start pre-loading 3rd party apps onto iOS devices.

How about a nice metallic sticker on the top of the unit, too? "BT Inside".
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
This is how AppleTV grows out of its niche market. Steve Jobs once said that it’s impossible to compete directly with cable providers because when you sign up for cable, they give you a free box so most people aren’t going to go out and buy another box.

The solution there is to make AppleTV the box cable companies give you. Apple should be partnering with more cable companies.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
27 months ago
Great. Wish US pay TV providers would do this. But they make too much money on their power sucking set top boxes.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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