In an interesting report by the Wall Street Journal this morning, the newspaper claims Apple is working on a "new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service."
Apple changed the music industry, but cable providers, television networks, and movie studios are a whole different bread of suck. Look at what Netflix has had to put up with. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the WSJ builds a convincing case for Apple to enter the television market.
Mr. Jobs often criticizes, in public and private, the experience of watching TV as clumsy and bad for consumers. But he has said the existing system, where consumers get content from different cable and satellite providers that use different technologies, makes it difficult to innovate. - WSJ
Sure Apple would be able to provide true internet TV, possibly allowing us to pay for whatever channels and networks we want to individually with all the pizazz of Apple TV. However, getting network television to succumb to the Apple way is going to be a much more difficult clash, even with the hordes of cash Apple has.
My biggest worry though, is not the difficulties Apple will face in securing this type of system, my fears lie in the actual possibility of Apple succeeding at their task. The innovation will be awesome, but if they control the cable industry like they do the music industry, consumers might lose out. The lack of competition in the market place will be even greater, and knowing Apple they're not one for creating open markets for other companies to offer like minded services and survive. Videos and TV show subscriptions aren't exactly cheap on iTunes, and I can't imagine subscribing to the networks you want in an Apple pay-for-play cable atmosphere will be much better.
Then again, Apple could do what they did with the music industry and make the cable companies and networks bow to their demands and create a cheaper, easier, and more effective way to deliver high quality entertainment to the masses.
It's all rumor right now, but this rumor is one to watch. Cable companies and television networks are officially on notice.