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Friday, March 13, 2009


Here’s something I’ll bet a lot of people have imagined. Have you ever wanted a cable TV or satellite service that let you select and pay for only the specific channels that you want?

I would love to have something like that. Like most people, I pay for a lot of cable TV that I never watch. My staples are SciFi, SoapNet, Turner Classic Movies, Animal Planet, Discovery, History, The Weather Channel, and National Geographic. There are a number of others that I use as well: AMC (the former American Movie Classics), FX, the Lifetime channels, WE, USA, Spike. Wouldn’t you love it if your cable service, or your satellite service like Direct TV, offered you a custom package that included just all the stuff you know you’re going to use? For me, that would be goodbye to the sports channels, goodbye to the music video channels (although I have been uncharacteristically watching The Tool Academy on VH1, a show that I stumbled onto that hit my curiosity about human psychology in just the right way), goodbye to the Country Music Channel. And, I should hope, hello to some stuff that I don’t get that I actually would like to have, like BET on Jazz, Science Channel, and BBC America.

If you had a satellite service, say, you’d get a subscription to something that might be called Direct TV Options that would let you pick out your personal smorgasbord of TV channels. You might even be able to edit and revise your selections online, at the service’s Website, perhaps under a “DirectTV Options” or “DirecTV Options” tab. It would be all the TV you enjoy and none of the TV you don’t want or never use. And it would probably be worth the price.

Cable and satellite companies would probably scoff at this notion, saying it would be too difficult to implement or saying they’d have to charge customers too much to make it cost effective. I think it’s an idea whose time is coming--one of these days. Meanwhile, here I am, wanting to keep VH1 only because there’s going to be another season of The Tool Academy and I can’t resist seeing what kind of insufferable, revolting boyfriends are going to be submitted for making over into “Prince Charmings” for their ladies in the next session...

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