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Although Apple has yet to confirm that its releasing a television, rumors circulated today that one U.K, broadcaster has already informed them that they had better stay away from the name "iTV."

For those unfamiliar with television networks in the U.K., you may be unaware that the largest commercial broadcaster in the country is named ITV. Founded in September 1955, ITV was the first commercial television network launched in the region and was billed as a competitor to the BBC. If you are one of the millions of Americans hooked on the breakout hit series Downton Abbey, then you're also familiar with at least one of their productions.

Earlier today The Telegraph reported that ITV has reached out to Apple over the use of the name, saying:

ITV has written to Apple to warn the Silicon Valley technology giant off using its three-letter name for its long-awaited, "iTV" smart television.

They went on to say that apparently when Adam Crozier took over the role of chief executive of ITV in 2010, he was already aware of the potential for the Apple television being planned and reached out to Apple about the issue. He reportedly received assurances at that time that the Cupertino-based company would not use the name, at least in the U.K. The fear now is that happened under the reign of Steve Jobs, and with the co-founder's recent passing, no one is sure as of yet what current CEO Tim Cook's views are on the issue.

The entire report, however, is now in question as ITV issued the following statement to The Verge later in the morning:

The Telegraph's piece is entirely speculative, and there has been no recent dialogue between ITV and Apple. ITV has no further comment on the matter.

For those with good memories, you may remember that the original name of the Apple TV was iTV, but it changed from the time the device was announced until it was launched.  While no one ever said if this was due to the possible conflict with the British broadcaster, one has to assume that it figured into the process in some way.  With the wording of "no recent dialogue" between the two companies in their statement, this means either ITV was referring to talks about the Apple TV, or possibly the supposed communications in 2010.  We just don't know which it was.

Either way, one has to assume that Apple has taken this into consideration in the naming of its rumored product should it really exist.

[via The Telegraph]