Apple TV to get UK boost with potential BT EE partnership

Apple is said to be in talks with BT to provide the telecom giant's EE broadband customers with custom Apple TV set top boxes.

That's according to The Telegraph, whose sources claim the iPhone XS maker is in "early discussions" with BT to offer its broadband customers Apple TV devices with BT Sport apps and third party services of both companies' choosing.

BT, which bought the EE mobile network and its associated home broadband offerings back in 2016, has already stated that it is looking to shift up its home entertainment strategy. It currently provides its own set top boxes to its quad play customers – but consumer boss Marc Allera has alluded to a change that would see it focus on its content offering and away from costly hardware. This could very well be that move.

Advantages for Apple

As for the Cupertino company, it's long struggled to make its Apple TV hardware as ubiquitous in households as its computing and iPhone mobile gear. 

With Apple pumping $1 billion into original programming content to compete with the likes of Netflix next year, such a deal would put a large chunk of UK TV viewers a mere few taps away from subscribing to its own TV shows. And that's before any potential force-fed Apple content fee that could come with the EE partnership.

It wouldn't be the first time Apple has agreed such a deal. Swiss telecom Salt has made a similar partnership, while US customers of Verizon signing up to the new 5G Home plan get an Apple TV, too. Previously, AT&T subscribers to DirecTV Now also received Apple boxes.

EE broadband customers, watch this space – it may well be worth scrubbing that Apple TV box off of your Christmas list.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.