Honestly, this sounds like Cue giving up. It seems that Apple was chasing a master plan for television (enough rumours and comments by TV execs to support it) and has now cancelled those plans, facing resistance from many parties over contractual terms.
This is disappointing for my view on what Apple needs strategically. I see original content as a necessity in order to stay relevant. Clarkson’s Top Gear show is a great example of something that is now completely outside of Apple’s control and will always be an ecosystem disadvantage. Amazon has no incentives to share its exclusive content to other platforms. They can shut out Apple TV indefinitely. Apple needs a magical agreement with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, or it needs its own leverage with its own compelling shows.