“Apple is negotiating with production studios and networks to provide content for a television set that would emphasize apps over cable TV, according to people familiar with those discussions,” Zachary M. Seward, Gina Chon, and Kevin J. Delaney report for Quartz. “Among the companies that have talked to Apple are Disney’s ESPN, Time Warner’s HBO, and Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central.”

“Sources say Apple’s strategy could include forming its own pay TV service, essentially becoming a cable company itself, except with content delivered entirely over the internet,” Seward, Chon, and Delaney report. “Apple wants to release a full-fledged television set, seeking to control the entire experience of watching TV, according to sources… [it] would attempt to usurp the role of the cable box in people’s living rooms.”

Seward, Chon, and Delaney report, “Sources say Apple has concluded that it doesn’t need all, even most, content providers on board before it can release a TV set that people would buy. It just needs enough good programming to distinguish the new product, which will try to simplify the experience of connecting internet video to the TV. A deal with a top-tier content provider like ESPN or HBO could represent a tipping point that would encourage Apple to bring the product to market.”

“Apple’s TV set could shift the paradigm of traditional television watching. Instead of organizing everything around channels, it would organize around apps from networks, studios, and others that own content,” Seward, Chon, and Delaney report. “Other features, like search, might help eliminate the notion of channel-flipping altogether. Cable companies, in that scenario, could become just another app that consumers choose to pay for or not, rather than the core of the TV set.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The app is the channel:

“Content producers should get to work then on producing their own apps, as ESPN has done already for their channels… We’ll make a folder of them on our iOS devices and it’ll look and act just like the channel lineup.” – MacDailyNews Take, April 11, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]