Comcast shunning Apple TV single sign-on, working with CTAM on open solution

Image: Comcast

Comcast revealed no plans to support Apple TV’s new single sign-on feature and instead told FierceCable that it will continue to work with tech companies Adobe and Synacor, and industry group CTAM, to develop a universal authentication scheme. 

“We have made great progress and expect to enable SSO next year,” a Comcast rep said. “We are focused on helping create an open standard that is platform agnostic and easily adoptable, and will continue to share our best practices with the industry through CTAM and the OATC (Open Authentication Technology Committee).”

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Last week, Apple announced a new single sign-on feature for its updated Apple TV app, which allows pay-TV users to authenticate just once across all of their TV Everywhere apps. However, Apple named only DirecTV and Dish Network among the major pay-TV operators supporting the feature. Cox told FierceCable that the MSO would "keep an eye" on the Apple TV's SSO feature. But Comcast said it has other plans. 

In June, Comcast announced that it was working with the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) and Adobe to develop “home-based authentication.” 

RELATED: Comcast partners with CTAM and Adobe to create 'universal' TVE sign-in platform

"Home-based authentication is a feature that recognizes when a pay-TV customer is connected to their modem or gateway and automatically signs them in to participating MVPD and programmer websites and apps on devices in the home," said Matthew Strauss, executive VP and GM of video services for Comcast, explaining the news system in a company blog post.

“With regard to home-based authentication, we are actively engaged with our programming partners and currently enable HBA for 40 percent of them,” the Comcast representative added, noting that she expects the amount of participating partners to double by the end of the year. 

The hassle and complexity of authentication has been listed as a key limitation of TV Everywhere usage.