The reports of Apple’s attempts to come out with a new television product just got a little more interesting.

The New York Post has behind-the-scenes details on Apple’s attempts to convince content providers to make their shows available on Apple’s terms for a new television product from the company. Yes, it’s the New York Post, quoting anonymous sources, so it’s appropriate to apply a healthy level of skepticism.

But for anyone who remembers Apple’s negotiations with the major music labels over iTunes, the negotiating tactics will sound familiar.

And here’s the interesting part: “Apple is pitching the idea of offering channels as apps for its devices, including its Apple TV set-top box. It’s unclear whether it would group the apps together and charge a fee — similar to a cable-TV subscription — or offer the channels on an a la carte basis.”

Here’s hoping it’s a la carte. But that seems too good to be true.

Microsoft has been headed this direction with various services (Netflix, Xfinity, Verizon) as apps, but offering specific channels in this way would take it an important step further.

Programming Note: We’ll be talking with BuddyTV CEO Andy Liu about the landscape for content in the living room and beyond this weekend on the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday on 97.3 KIRO-FM in Seattle, and on as a podcast.

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  • Guest

    We’d prefer to wait until March 7, when Apple TV is to be introduced (alongside iPad 3 and iPhone 5), to judge it.

  • Anonymous

    I think the Cable companies are being pre-cautious to avoid what happened to the music industry. What they don’t realize is that Apple has a huge amount of cash and could easily gobble up someone like Comcast.

  • Jeremy Toeman

    This isn’t just about negotiating, there are multi-billion dollar decade-long contracts in place that utterly prevent these things from just happening like this.  This is far too complex a world to dissect so simply.

  • Lucas Gonze

    The idea of apps as channels is already widely deployed on connected TV platforms from Samsung, LG, Google TV, Roku and Boxee. This isn’t an Apple innovation by any stretch.

    It’s a good idea which fits the TV experience very naturally, and I’d be surprised if it is very important as viewers switch to connected TV experiences.

    • Guest

      If you add the number of persons who bought Samsung, LG, Google TV, Roku and Boxee connected devices* together, you might get enough people to partly fill a suburban Apple store. We believe that Apple has the “critical mass” needed to make smart TV mainstream.

      * This only counts those who own Samsung and LG “Smart TVs” and actually use the “Smart TV” features of these devices. We have found that most use these TVs as mere conduits to other entertainment devices.

  • Guest

    I’m not interested in Channels as apps.  I’m interested in Shows as apps.  I could not care less which channel a Show is on (or which service provides the channel), I only care about getting access to the Shows I care about.

  • Anonymous

    Dude knows he is like totally rocking it out man, I mean like seriously.
    Total-Privacy dot US

  • Blake Robinson

    This isn’t a reinvention. HBO and several other channels already do this.

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