Apple is discussing a streaming-television service with Comcast, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ said the talks are in the early stages and many hurdles remain.
The service would use a set-top box created by Apple and get special treatment on Comcast’s network, the paper said, citing unidentified sources. That would separate Comcast from other companies, including Sony and Verizon, which agreed to buy technology from Intel earlier this year.
Dish Network recently signed a deal with Walt Disney Co. that opens the door to Dish creating a virtual MVPD, but only if other programmers sign up. Despite that obstacle, which faces any company looking to create an online TV service, senior industry executives such as Philippe Dauman have said the idea is being discussed and might even roll out in 2014.
The WSJ’s unidentified sources said that Apple wants Comcast to create a separate pipeline for its service to subscribers’ homes so that its video won’t get “clogged” like other online video that moves through devices like Roku and Xbox.
The talks with Comcast follow similar talks in 2012 with Time Warner Cable, which has agreed to be acquired by Comcast.