Apple could be planning enhanced TV service with ad skipping

Intel Media executives believe Apple got it all wrong.

Apple’s talks with big cable over a comprehensive TV service seem to be back in motion, as former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin reported on her new site that the company plans on pitching a premium TV service that not only streams live cable TV over an Apple set-top box or TV but also allows viewers to skip commercials.

The ad skipping would be seamless for viewers and lucrative for networks, as Apple would directly pay for each ad skipped. But Lessin said that there still isn’t enough information to determine how this new service would act differently from a DVR or cable system like DirecTV’s AdHopper. Patented technology from the Cupertino company could mean that the company will simply swap video streams to bring new programming in place of ads.

It’s probable that the programming would be primed for the $99 Apple TV, which has signed deals recently with HBO and ESPN. Discussions have been frequent with Time Warner Cable, so Lessin said that it’s likely that some form of live TV system will arise with a personalized Apple interface.

The rumblings that Apple’s big push to the living room may finally be happening could be the boon that Apple TV has been set up for all these years, but carefully balancing unwanted disruption from the cable companies is critical to the plan’s success.

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