According to some surprisingly detailed rumors reported on Quartz, Apple is right now involved in "high level" negotiations with TV content owners as it tries to source material it will use to power its TV and movie efforts. The big names involved include ESPN, HBO, and Viacom, and the intent is to avoid the traditional TV channel model and instead serve up content through an app-like service. The content push is in support of full TV hardware, not just a set top box.
This rumor is so seductive, and backs up so many other Apple TV rumors, that you may be inclined to disregard it. But as the folks at MacRumors point out, Quartz is staffed by many ex-Wall Street Journal writers, and Apple has long been thought to use WSJ connections to officially "leak" material.
Considering Apple is said to be making great strides in signing up ad partners for its upcoming iTunes Radio service, it's arguable that now more than ever, TV content providers may be keen to talk to Apple. If TV content makers could be assured they'll get highly targeted ad partners to help fund any app-style Apple television service, they may be happier to move beyond their traditional partnerships with providers like the cable companies who stick to old-fashioned linear programming.
[Image via Flickr user: Börkur Sigurbjörnsson]