The talk earlier this week of cable companies proposing a la carte cable plans made it sound like they actually wanted to do something for their customers. Well as IT World explains, the cable companies still reek of greed.
According to Kevin Fogarty, the ulterior motive behind this a la carte push is to transform in demand (and costly) channels such as ESPN into HBO-esque premium channels. Most channels would still be packaged as a bundle.
Skyrocketing TV broadcast deal costs have come down the line to cable companies, however, forcing them to pay as much as $4 per subscriber to run ESPN, according to cable-industry research firm SNL Kagan.
Niche special-interest channels like the History of Knitting Channel, on the other hand, either get onto channel listings free in order to fill out the list and make it more impressive-looking, or actually have to pay to be included (presumably in handmade socks; there hasn't been a lot of money in knitting since the automatic loom was invented).