Tim Stevens, forever known as a bearded legend and a dignified gentleman in the realm of Engadget, once placed a small sum of money into a charity bet with Gene Munster. At question, as you'll likely surmise, was whether or not Apple would reinvent television before the end of the year. The outfit's CEO has since upgraded the Apple TV from a hobby to an "area of intense interest," and it seems that discussions are indeed in the works. Jessica Lessin, formerly of Wall Street Journal fame, has been known to break an Apple story or two, and she's recently published a report that puts Apple and cable companies at the table to discuss the premise of ad skipping.
Simply put, Apple wants to offer consumers the ability to watch live and on-demand programming "over an Apple set-top box or TV" at a premium, with ads being skipped over and ISPs receiving a slice of the money. That money, of course, would seemingly have to trickle down to the companies who are getting (potentially) shafted when it comes to air time, but details surrounding that notion seem to be unclear. Of course, one could say that folks are already addicted to skipping ads, and if Apple's crafting an idea to make anything from a phenomenon that's already happening... well, you could certainly imagine one or two executives having a listen.