TV Provider on iOS - what is this actually?


I have a (presumably) simple question:

What are these TV Providers which can be entered in the Settings of iOS? I understand, that they need an app as well to work, so why are they there? What are the advantages over other TV apps, which do not have a TV Provider setting?

I was using up to now UPC, which does not have a TV Provider, but switched to Sunrise recently which has a TV Provider, but in both I have to use an App to watch TV, and I do not see a difference (except that the Sunrise app is much more user friendly, which I would not attribute to the TV Provider status?

Thanks for enlightening me,


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The TV Provider lets you sign into a TV service that you subscribe to (Hulu, YouTubeTV, etc.) and then you can run channel apps (ESPN, CBS, etc.) without having to log into those apps individually. The particular apps do need to be part of the subscription that you subscribe to in order to have access e.g. you would only be able to access content on the HBO app if you pay for HBO with a Hulu subscription.

So the idea is, that I have one login for the service I subscribe to, which works for all TV apps the service provides. And as at the moment Sunrise provides only one app, there is no difference. OK - I think I got it.

I could be mistaken, but I don’t think you even need to have an app from the TV provider installed. I used to be on Spectrum, and I’m pretty sure I never installed their app on my devices.

Not all providers participate in single sign-on, so you may still need to log into each service app individually.

I assume that in this case, it would be integrated in the Apple TV App? So the TV Provider is only a glorified and specialized password manager for certain apps…

Not necessarily the Apple TV app, perhaps you want to install the ESPN app, or the Fox News app, or MSNBC app. In that respect, the TV Provider does work as a password manager.

Thanks - that clarifies. And I thought, it would be something special…

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