According to a recent Associated Press story, consumers could save 13% on cable bills if they were allowed to pay for their cable/satellite tv service by channel instead of being forced to subscribe to 208 channels that they don't really want. In fact, the FCC is considering introducing legislation that would force providers to offer such services. Well that's not a big surprise to me. I think I can honestly say that I would be pretty happy with about 10 channels. Break down my monthly DirecTV bill, and I think that would put my bill at, hmm, carry the one... $2.98. Sounds good, I'll take it.
Now, back to reality. Cable and satellite services survive because they charge you $40 for a bunch of stuff you don't really want. Force them to charge per channel, and you'll only end up paying more per channel. Now it's not clear from this report if the new legislation under consideration would also dictate the price per channel service providers would be allowed to charge.
The other issue at stake here is allowing picking and choosing channels as a way for parents to control what channels are available to children. Seems like a swell idea, but we already have this now. If a parent is even slightly tech savvy, they can program their cable box, satellite dish, TiVo, or what have you to lock out certain offensive channels from their children, husbands, pets, and so forth.
Of course that's just my opinion. I could be totally wrong.