Altice USA hooks up with Apple

Altice USA has forged a connection with Apple that includes the launch of an app for the Apple TV platform along with an option for customers to finance the purchase of an Apple TV 4K box.

Among those moves, the New York-based service operator said it has launched a version of its Altice One app and guide for Apple TV that provides access to Altice USA's live TV, VoD and cloud DVR recording services. The app integration also supports a restart function for select live TV shows already in progress.

Image source: Altice USA
Image source: Altice USA

In addition, the Altice One app for Apple TV supports Apple's voice search platform (via Apple's Siri Remote) and a "zero sign-on" function that eliminates the need for Altice USA customers to enter their credentials when accessing the MSO's app on an Apple TV box.

As one more additional component, new and existing Altice One customers can finance the purchase of an Apple TV 4K box as part of their monthly subscription plan – $10 per month over 18 months, or a total of $180 plus tax (an Apple TV 4K box with 32 gigabytes of storage sells at retail for $179). For customers who opt for the device financing option, Altice USA is also tossing in a free year of Apple TV+, a new subscription VoD service that sells for $4.99 per month.

Altice USA's connection to Apple applies to both its Optimum (former Cablevision Systems) and Suddenlink service footprints.

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Why this matters
The agreement falls in line with a broader trend in which cable operators and other service providers are adopting and embracing retail streaming platforms/devices as a complement to or outright replacement of operator-supplied set-tops and gateways.

In this instance, the app integration provides Altice USA with a way to deliver services to a popular retail streaming device on additional TV screens in the home as the operator continues to expand the deployment of Altice One, an all-services hub that bakes in high-speed Internet access, in-home WiFi, phone and video. Altice USA ended 2019 with 543,000 unique Altice One customers, representing 17% of its total video customer base.

For Apple, the partnership with Altice USA is similar to the one it struck last year with Charter Communications, which has also built an app for Apple TV boxes and provided a way for customers to finance the purchase of an Apple TV 4K device.

The agreement also positions Apple at another major US cable operator as streaming platform rivals such as Amazon (with its new Fire TV Edition for Operators) and Google (with the Android TV Operator Tier) continue to gain ground with strategies and partnerships focused on service providers.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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