A&E, History and Lifetime have launched plug-ins for the Apple TV device, offering a mix of video clips and access to ad-supported, authenticated full episodes from shows such as Bates Motel, Duck Dynasty, Storage Wars, Project Runway, Devious Maids and Pawn Stars.
According to the Apple TV site, “select content” from those three channels are being offered free of charge, while additional fare is available to consumers who get access to A&E, History and Lifetime through participating multichannel video programming distributors. An A+E Networks official confirmed a Mac Rumors report that authenticated content from the trio is presently limited to customers of DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and Cablevision Systems.
Of recent note, Comcast has begun to test authentication to “certain programmers” on the Apple TV as well as the Roku platform, Matt Strauss, Comcast Cable’s SVP and GM of video services, said last month at the Next TV Summit in New York.
Still, the additions of A&E, History and Lifetime plug-ins help to expand the amount of cable TV fare supported by the Apple TV as it faces stiffening competition from Roku, the Google Chromecast, and the recently launched Amazon Fire TV box. In recent weeks and months, Apple TV has also added content from ACC Digital Network, The Weather Channel, and PBS, as well as authenticated TV Everywhere offerings such as Watch Disney, Watch Disney XD, Watch Disney Junior, Watch ESPN, and HBO GO.
“We’re excited to deliver our hit programming from A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime to Apple TV users,” said Dan Suratt, executive vice president, digital media & business development, A+E Networks, in a statement. “With the response we've seen from our content on iOS devices and on iTunes, bringing A+E HD content to Apple TV is a natural evolution to satisfy our consumers’ demands and to provide our advertisers a new opportunity to partner with A+E Networks."
A+E Networks’ apps for the iOS platform support authentication for a much broader range of MVPDs, including Comcast, DirecTV, Cablevision, Verizon, Shaw Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Advanced Cable Communications, and Armstrong, among many others. The A&E and History apps for iOS offer both on-demand content and access to their respective live TV feeds.