“Channel checks”? What on earth? You can’t manufacture an event at a Foxconn factory.
Aside from that anomaly, I have a problem with the idea that Apple is going to announce an SDK for the iTV without announcing the iTV at the same time. If they do announce an SDK in March, for the current Apple TV, then you are forging an ecosystem of apps around that device. You are limiting developer imagination to the constraints of the cheap-and-not-particularly-powerful $99 set-top box that exists today.
The biggest issue is with the remote. I’m assuming that the iTV will not use the same basic D-Pad remote that the Apple TV uses. Using Misek’s theory, though, the apps developed in the time between March and the iTV announcement will be based on the existence of a D-Pad. It doesn’t make sense.