From the Department of Bad Business Models: tech giant Intel has a plan to blow cable companies out of the water (and presumably satellite providers as well) with the introduction of a set-top box that, when connected to the Internet, will purportedly allow users to subscribe to individual channels rather than being required to accept package "bundles" that include dozens of channels that they never watch. It sounds great, but it's likely to cost users more.
Content providers don't really want to see "bundles" go away, and protestations to the contrary aside, most users won't either:
Disney, for instance, charges TV distributors about $5 for every subscriber that gets ESPN. And, by some estimates, only about 25 percent of cable customers actually watch ESPN on a regular basis. So if you unbundled ESPN, the per-subscriber cost might shoot up to $20 or more, to account for the 75 percent drop in its customer base.
If you have to pay $15-$20 per channel every month, how many channels do you think you'll buy?
Especially in view of the fact that if you live in a fairly densely-populated area, such as the Portland or Seattle metropolitan area, you can break out the old tv antenna and pick up 30 or so channels for free?