Preview at WWDC likely in June, followed by September launch.
Apple Negotiating With Cable Companies and Networks to Allow Viewers to Pay to Skip Commercials
Viewers could potentially pay Apple to skip commercials on a per show or per channel basis, get live commercial-free viewing of new episodes with the purchase of a Season Pass on the iTunes Store, or Apple could even offer an entire commercial-free TV subscription service.
In recent discussions, Apple told media executives it wants to offer a "premium" version of the service that would allow users to skip ads and would compensate television networks for the lost revenue, according to people briefed on the conversations.Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the D11 conference earlier this year that the company has a "grand vision" for the television, and that the current TV viewing experience "could be better". It's been previously reported that Apple wants to erase the distinction between live and on-demand video content.
Consumers, of course, are already accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials on their DVRs, and how Apple’s technology differs is unclear.
It is a risky idea. Ad-skipping would disrupt the entrenched system of television ratings—the basis for buying TV ads. In fact, television broadcasters sued Dish Network when it introduced similar technology last year.
Apple is rumored to have both a full-on television set as well as a more conventional set-top box in the works, in addition to its existing "hobby", as Tim Cook calls the current Apple TV box.