Zachary M. Seward, Gina Chon, and Kevin J. Delaney, writing for Quartz:
Apple is negotiating with production studios and networks to provide content for a television set that would emphasize apps over cable TV, according to people familiar with those discussions. Among the companies that have talked to Apple are Disney’s ESPN, Time Warner’s HBO, and Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.
Sources say Apple’s strategy could include forming its own pay TV service, essentially becoming a cable company itself, except with content delivered entirely over the internet. Intel, Sony, and Google are known to be pursuing similar tactics, and could launch their own pay TV services before Apple.
Full disclosure: I'm likely the lone nerd on the planet who doesn't watch TV in HD, so I'd jump all over an Apple-branded television set as my first HDTV. (Cf. my piece from last month on not always having the latest and greatest gadgetry.)
What I'd love to see are two things.
First, I'd love to see Apple spend some of its $100 billion war chest on getting the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. Apple has more than enough money to meet the NFL's asking price. Build an app into the standalone TV set and the Apple TV box of today. It'd be a huge hit, I think, and the rights needn't be exclusive.
Secondly — and this is more pie-in-the-sky — but I'd love it if Apple could work with Turner Classic Movies in building an app that lets users stream on demand the entirety of TCM's film catalog. TCM is one of my favorite channels, and I'd love to be able to watch Citizen Kane on a whim.