Every time we write about the push for "a la carte" cable, where subscribers could pick and choose which channels they want, we make sure to point out that studies have shown most consumers would end up paying more for such a system. However, every time we write about it, comments fill up with people ignoring the study and insisting that if they only had to pay for the five channels they like, then obviously it would cost less than the 100 they pay for today. That, of course, ignores how the economics of the business would change if a la carte was being offered. Thankfully, someone over at the NY Times gives a nice straightforward explanation for why your bill would likely go up if we switched to a la carte. And, it doesn't even get into the increased overhead in the infrastructure necessary to offer a la carte, along with the more complicated billing and maintenance required.
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