Apple is in talks with several cable companies over a comprehensive TV service, a plan which has been going back and forth for quite some time. According to former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin, the company plans on pitching a premium TV service that allows not only the streaming of live cable but will also allow users to skip through commercial breaks via their Apple TV set-top box or TV.

The project has been slow-moving over the course of a year with Apple seeking the rights from cable companies and television networks for a TV service. How does Apple plan to clear add skipping with cable providers and ad companies? Simple, it will be paying the cost of all skipped commercials out of its pocket. While the ability to fast forward through commercials is not new for consumers, who have been able to do this with the DVR, as for how Apple's service would improve or even differ is unclear. One possibility would be Apple's appeal to ad companies. With similar commercial skipping services, the makeup of the television ratings system is being cheated. In fact, Dish Network was sued by television broadcasters for a similar service last year. If Apple plans to pay for skipped commercials out of pocket, it might be more lucrative for ad companies to make money from the practice of skipping commercials rather than lose it with other DVR services.

Apple wants to make deals with cable companies like Time Warner Cable to allow subscribers to watch live television using an Apple device as a set-top box with a software interface designed by Apple Inc.  According to a patent from last year, the way Apple will go about achieving ad skipping would be by swaping in a different stream of video during a commercial break.

Apple currently offers a $99 set-top box for watching iTunes and Internet video buythas been trying to launch a more ambitious service that offers live television for some time.