But what I would love to see is Apple do something like a subscription service for just the channels you want. That service would have the basic network channels ABC, CBS, NBC...any geographically local channels. Now via something like iTunes for music (what that really is is still to be determined) I can choose exactly what channels i get and what i want to pay for. Then i can choose exactly what order they show on my new Apple remote to go along with my new Apple TV. That would be a tru;y gratifying TV experience for me......just what I want just the way I want it!
I don't think you'd save as much as you think. It might be easier to navigate, but I wouldn't go too far beyond that. When you figure that many people will pick the same array of channels, and they may be more expensive channels, combined with Apple's 30% fee and the loss of any bundling discount through your cable provider, it may not add up to a huge savings. If the cable providers have to support their infrastructure solely on internet services, I would expect to see rate hikes if too many subscribers drop cable. For a while quite a bit of free content with advertising was available through the websites of many of these networks. Royalty disputes put an end to that. The results may have broken the cost effectiveness of that distribution model. For a while you could either get recent shows through Hulu or whatever TV network site. Roku also worked with some of them, allowing you to stream this stuff on your television without adhering to show schedules. I don't think they need to give you cheaper pricing and ability to limit what you pay for at all. If you had some ability to watch things when you want without planning and pre-recording and organize the channel selection from a given subscription down to a quickly navigated selection of favorites, that would draw a lot of people if we're just looking at the software side of things. Speaking of itunes, you can purchase or rent movies that way too. It's also called itunes on the existing Apple TV.