An article entitled "Will People Ever Give Up Cable TV?" showed up on my iPod this morning from NPR. Among the points in the article was this statement: "Ever feel like you're paying for channels you don't use? I pay for dozens of cable channels I never watch."
I can tell you that's one of the reasons I gave up cable television. I don't watch 90% of the channels in the most basic lineup, and I can't justify paying the prices for a small sliver of their offerings. I'm a geek and I love my sci-fi movies and shows, but I can just as easily catch the episodes over the internet (Hulu and network sites), Netflix, or even by purchasing the box sets at a later date.
It's nice to discuss the shows with friends as they happen in real time, but I find just as much satisfaction in reading the reviews, gauging the opinions, and diving in some time later. The show or movie's story doesn't just die because it's six or nine months later, and, in the end, the only person I need to worry about satisfying over the entertainment value is myself.
In the long run, if cable television services offered a cheap à la carte option for the channels I really want, I'd consider going back. Until then, my money goes to other options and leaves the cable companies in the cold.