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Apple has been sizing up the world of television for a long time now with very hungry eyes. The company almost never reveals its plans out loud, of course, but if you test the PH level of the rumor pool, it's starting to look a lot like it did about six years ago, just before the first iPhone came along. At that time, it was widely believed that something called an "iPhone" was on its way, but what that would shape up to be was anyone's guess. And it wasn't just about the design and capabilities of the device, either.
The problem with a Apple deal with a Cable company will be Apple. Because Apple makes deal that benefit Apple and hardly anyone else. Just look at the lost subsides the Wireless phone companies gave up for the iPhone. Many actually complain their "net" profits went down not up after the iPhone. At the same token Cable has its own ideals of streaming TV. Comcast has already been working on its own streaming services. Could their be a desperate cable company willing to commit to Apple's demands? Sure. But given you not only have to deal with a cable company but also all the networks that have done a deal with that cable company. I think your adding a lot of layers of negotiations and deals. At what cost?