Apple TV might allow ad-skipping
Apple would reportedly compensate cable firms for lost views
The rumoured refresh of Apple TV could feature ad-skipping technology at an extra cost.
Apple will charge watchers a "premium" for the ability to skip ads during recorded programmes - much the same way Dish Network's automated ad-skipping system works on its DVR - then pay cable companies for the missed views, according to former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin.
Unnamed sources have told Lessin that Apple has met with TV companies to pitch the service for its updated set-top box. Although discussions have been going on intermittently, the talks are reportedly becoming more serious.
Whether Apple can convince the cable companies to negotiate a deal remains to be seen, since TV firms will likely be unwilling to condone ad-skipping, even with the promised compensation.
Lessin noted that Apple patented a technology that can swap in different streams of video during ad breaks last year.
The sources suggested that a more ambitious Apple TV could launch within the next year, with the firm already selling a $99 set-top box. They added that CEO Tim Cook, senior vice-president Eddy Cue and marketing chief Phil Schiller have been involved with talks with cable firms.
Apple has refused to comment on the rumours.