Apple TV’s new single sign-on may not work with your pay TV provider

“Apple wants to take the hassle out of signing into and authenticating apps on its Apple TV device — but its latest push for a simpler TV experience may not actually work for everyone,” Janko Roettgersreports reports for Variety. “That’s because Apple doesn’t yet seem to have the backing of some major pay TV operators for the new feature.”

“Single sign-on aims to take the pain out of authenticated TV services like Watch ABC, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime by taking away the need to sign into every single app. Instead, users will be able to sign into just one app, and automatically be authenticated for all other pay TV apps available to them,” Roettgersreports reports. “The new feature will be available on both Apple TV as well as iPhones and iPads in the U.S. this fall — if your TV provider is on board, that is.”

“Apple showed off Dish as a participating operator during the WWDC keynote, but didn’t mention any other supporting operators, and an Apple spokesperson didn’t respond to repeated requests from Variety on the issue,” Roettgersreports reports. “That’s not to say that Apple may not be able to sway some TV operators to allow single sign-on when it eventually becomes available this fall. But it’s far from certain that the new feature will work for everyone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s official press materials describe single sign-on as follows:

For the first time, customers in the US will have a simplified way of enjoying pay-TV video channels by using single sign-on. Starting this fall, users only have to sign in once on Apple TV to enjoy immediate access to their favorite video channels that are included as part of their pay-TV subscription.

• Once a user is signed into one network app, any other app on Apple TV from participating pay-TV providers will automatically log the user into all other supported apps requiring authentication.
• During the single sign-on process, customers can view a page of all the authenticated apps that a pay-TV provider offers to more easily discover, download and enjoy all of their favorite video channels.
• Any network-TV app can take advantage of this technology to enable single sign-on and simplify the process for their viewers.
• Single sign-on will be available on both Apple TV and iOS.

Apple’s footnote does state: “Features are subject to change.”


  1. Guess the ‘or not’ substituted for ‘One more thing….’

    Typical post-Jobs Apple….

    Cook needs to resign. Got trumped on Siri improvements and trumped on Siri device. All he’s got in the tank is an iCar – oh wait, Tesla, Google and som Chinese company trumped him on that….

    All down hill from here.

    1. It has been a while, homely one, and I can’t say that I missed your consistently negative viewpoints. This was WWDC – for the developers – and I think that it was successful with multiple steps in the right direction in terms of functionality and integration.

      I wholeheartedly agree that Apple should have capitalized better on its head start with Siri. Siri’s development has lagged and others have caugh up or passed Siri in the past couple of years. But that does not mean that Apple is toast. The past is past…what is important is how Apple takes Siri forward from here.

  2. Why do the providers even need to play? If single sign-on works like the password saver on Safari. The buy in of the providers is not necessary, in fact, they will not even know that single sign-on is being used unless Apple shares that info with them.

    1. My understand was that if you used an app for a particular broadcaster you would sign in (to your provider) via single sign in, which would then detail which channels/services you pay for which would then mean that when you used the apps for those things you would be signed in automatically. Single sign in only works if it is connecting to some list of what you have access to. In much the same way that logging in to MDN automatically signs you in on any other wordpress powered site.

  3. I noticed last night signing into TruTV app on a completely new device that I didn’t need to enter my login information. I just selected my provider and it authenticated. Also, I hadn’t logged into any other tv app yet, so it must have gotten m login info from the cloud. I was impressed.

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