It is free over the air, but the content provider charge cable and satellite companies a lot to carry their signal (retransmission consent). Disney/ABC really does not want to upset this revenue stream. OTOH, they did pay a lot of money to obtain NBA, NFL and college football programming.
I like iOS 5 maps because I can quickly look up an address and click on the walk icon to show me the quickest path. I just enjoy having that use case. I don't really have anything against the iOS 6 maps, but I won't be able to go back to iOS 5 if I upgrade so I don't mind waiting.