“If Apple wants to launch a subscription video service, there are really only two options: traditional Pay TV or subscription video on demand as offered by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon,” Jan Dawson writes for Tech.pinions.

“As the market leader and now the first global pay TV service, Netflix is in some ways pioneering what Apple might ultimately try to build itself and has a huge head start over anything Apple might build,” Dawson writes. “Acquiring Netflix would fill the strategic hole around subscription video, while also bringing on a fast-growing and potentially lucrative revenue stream.”

“Do I think Apple will actually do this deal? In all likelihood, no, though I wouldn’t rule it out,” Dawson writes. “But in a world where services like Netflix are taking over from the traditional pay TV, it would make a lot of sense for Apple to use some of its huge cash pile to bring the market leader in-house and plug a strategic hole at the same time.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A big acquisition would certainly shake things up, but judging by the recent quotes we have from CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, Apple is close to getting the deals they want. “It will happen” is pretty unambiguous.

Of course, Apple’s Internet TV service will have to have ESPN. It will also likely require the “Big Four” networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) – although it could launch with three out of four and eventually hammer out a deal with whichever one is being the most reticent. That said, having already missed the launch of the new Apple TV, Apple might as well wait until they have a full dance card.

What others should be considered to be must-haves?

Beyond the Big Four, if you go by primetime ratings (total viewers), the top 20 U.S. cable networks are:

2. Fox News Channel
2. USA
3. TBS
4. Disney
5. Discovery Channel
6. History Channel
7. TNT
9. Nickelodeon
10. AMC
11. Adult Swim
12. FX
13. Cartoon Network
14. Food Channel
15. Lifetime
16. ABC Family
17. Syfy
18. TLC
19. Hallmark
20. Investigation Discovery

Source: Nielsen estimates, Live plus-3 for Dec. 29, 2014 – Dec. 16, 2015 (M-Su 8-11 p.m.)

CBS CEO Moonves says Apple puts live TV service ‘on hold’ – December 8, 2015
Fox’s James Murdoch, CBS’s Les Moonves hint at looming Apple Web TV service launch – November 5, 2015
CBS CEO Moonves says Apple TV content deal is likely – October 14, 2015
CBS CEO: We’re still in negotiations with Apple over new Internet TV service – May 27, 2015