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Apple in Talks (Again) to Offer TV Channels: Report

Here we go again.

Re/code is reporting that Apple is in discussions with unspecified TV networks about offering a bundle of channels similar to Dish’s Sling TV service, which gives subscribers a limited number of networks delivered over broadband at a price lower than the traditional cable or satelllite package.

Details on what the Apple venture could be are scarce as conversations are said to be preliminary. But perhaps some skepticism is in order given the rather tortured history of Apple attempting all sorts of variations on TV service only to get nowhere.

Last March, the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast and Apple were in discussions about creating a broadband-delivered TV service but those talks evidently did not bear fruit. Numerous other arrangements have been in negotiations going back to 2009.

It’s unclear whether the new Apple idea would be available through the hardware giant’s existing Apple TV device or a brand new gizmo. There’s been endless speculation over the years that Apple would manufacture its own Internet-connected TV, but that product has yet to materialize.

Given the multiplicity of so-called “skinny” bundles, or virtual MSOS, coming to market–Sony and Verizon are also expected to launch similar services this year–it’s only natural that Apple would emerge as another possibility. But with the company’s hardware prowess and track record across a range of “i”-branded consumer devices, any entry into the TV world would be game-changing.

In various public comments since succeeding Steve Jobs, Apple CEO Tim Cook has given mixed messages about how big a priority for his company breaking into the TV business actually is.

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