Why Pay For Channels You Don’t Watch?

Alyssa Rosenberg ponders the future of cable television:

I remain pretty convinced that even if it takes a very long time to unbundle cable, and even if a bunch of networks die in the process, a move towards a more flexible (if not entirely a la carte) multi-platform system is inevitable. The idea that choice is paying for precisely what you want, rather than getting an enormous number of things — some of which you want and some of which you’d gladly see die in a fire — for your money seems pretty well-entrenched in the music industry now, and has always been the case for books. If I were HBO, I’d be pondering a subscription option for HBO GO only: I’m pretty sure I’d pay the $9-odd dollars I pay for my HBO package now for HBO GO only if I didn’t have cable.