“The moment the media and technology industries have been expecting for years may finally be arriving: Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business,” Andrew Wallenstein reports for Variety.

“Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif. colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content,” Wallenstein reports. “The unit putting out the feelers reports into Eddy Cue, who is Apple’s point man on all content-related matters.”

“The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive who talked with the company said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix,” Wallenstein reports. “Other sources described the company’s exploration as more of a flirtation, though pointed to one recent sign that an escalation of interest is clear: Apple is said to have made an unprecedented bid to secure the stars of “Top Gear” when they exited their BBC series earlier this year. But Amazon ended up winning the bidding war for Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond in July.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Finally!

Too bad about losing Clarkson, May, and Hammond, though. That would have been quite the coup!

As per exclusives:

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels [with other content gatekeepers]. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.MacDailyNews Take, May 6, 2014

Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016 – July 30, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jeff.L” for the heads up.]