Apple in talks with BCE, Rogers to launch iTV in Canada: report

Apple Inc. is eyeing a Canadian launch for its iTV system and has already approached two of the country’s telecom giants about teaming up on a future service rollout, according to a published report today.

Apple is in talks with Rogers Communications and BCE Inc.about theventure, the Globe and Mail reported, citing anunnamed source. Reuters wire servicewas unable to get a response to the story from Apple and said Rogersand BCE both declined to comment on the subject.

Industry insiders have long speculated that Apple is developing iTV asa system combining the features of its iPad tablet with the ability tobuy and watch TV content the way music is consumed on the iPod viaiTunes. Apple has never officiallyconfirmed or denied the iTV rumours,however.

Although Apple already offers a set top box called Apple TV thatstreams content to a TV set and can be controlled by an iPhone or otheriOS device, analysts have suggested that late CEO Steve Jobs wanted todevelop a more integrated TV consumption model at Apple before he diedlast autumn.

Author Walter Isaacson mentioned Jobs’ intention to revolutionize TV inhis biography of the Applevisionary released following his death.

Apple has approached Rogers and BCE because both are national providersof multiple services such as broadband, wireless, phone and televisionand both own TV content, according to the Globe and Reuters reports.Rogers owns the Sportsnet and Citytv networks while BCE owns CTV and 30specialty channels including MuchMusic, E! and TSN.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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