EE-TV-TabletEE’s new TV service is just weeks old but its future already looks bleak after the news that BT is in talks to buy the mobile operator.

BT is one of seven shareholders in YouView, the internet and Freeview hybrid TV platform which is also backed by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

The company’s ambitions, frustrated by an ongoing row with Sky over access to Sky Sport, to make YouView its single TV platform have finally been realised.

But buying EE returns BT to supporting two widely different set top boxes, each with different content and features.

While some early adopters of EE TV think it’s the best thing since sliced bread, it seems unlikely BT will want to have to find content for the nascent platform or return to the courts asking to be allowed to supply Sky Sports via it.

And retaining multiple boxes will drive up support costs just as BT is looking to make savings.

So it’s unlikely BT will want to keep EE TV around for long. Stopping future sales is certain to be one of the first actions BT takes when it assumes control of its new mobile network.

Customers who sign up before the handover could find BT stops their service and offers to swap them over to YouView.

While BT will been keen to avoid any bad PR, the total user base is likely to be very small – possibly confined to the hundreds or low thousands – so the firm might prefer to take the hit of scrapping it in a single, early blow rather than support a tiny number of customers for two years.

Alternatively BT could decide it’s easier to leave existing contracts in place but stop the service at the end of the contracted term, giving users an incentive to remain with them but swap to YouView.

Whichever option BT goes for, it seems unlikely you’ll still be able to buy EE TV this time next year.

In the meantime, those considering tying themselves into an EE broadband contract for the TV service might want to hold fire and see how BT plays things.

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