Can I subscribe to a network channel on AppleTV without a service provider?

I would like to drop my current service provider, but when I subscribe to a tv channel on Apple TV, AppleTV gives me a code but on the TV channel to submit onto the channel web page, it then asks for a service provider.

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  • There's not just one answer to this, but for most places that you're encountering this problem, the answer is "no".

    Each network makes its own decisions and negotiates its own contracts - and while some have been able to offer a separate free or paid service direct to AppleTV, many are dealing with existing contracts to cable providers that prevent them from negotiating a separate deal or at least make their regular negotiations more challenging.

    For the major broadcast networks, I think they're all "able" to - but they're still sketchy about it. Providing it directly from the network feed would overstep local broadcasters, and getting all local broadcasters set up to stream their local broadcasts hasn't been trivial.

    So right now, it's a grab bag. The occasional network has been willing to supply their own app. Some license their content to Hulu or Netflix or piggyback onto those services (like subscribing to Showtime on Hulu) but it's a mess. The same thing applies across other devices in the cable-cutting category - Roku and Fire and so on all have this problem, so unfortunately it's not a trivial one for Apple to address.

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