Here's a simple question...why can't we just buy the cable channels we want to watch instead of buying 50 channels for the one we want? Why do I have to have the Golf Channel if I want the Scifi Channel? Couldn't I just buy the Scifi Channel and HBO for a dollar a channel and leave it at that instead of scrolling through a hundred channels I never watch to get to them?
As with everything involving profit, it's a simple problem with a simple solution with massive opposition to the solution. The truth is that the cable companies known darn well that 99% of their audience will not buy lame channels like the Grass-Growing Channel unless it's forced upon them, so they use popular channels like ESPN to subsidize them. People like the women's channel Oxygen defend the system as a way of building an audience. Personally, I think if your channel couldn't survive without that system, then there's no point in airing it. Just because you make a channel doesn't mean we have to watch it. Read about the current hearings on the issue going on at the FCC and then send a nasty email to your cable company.