Sure I'll Pay For TV, But On My Terms | EW.com

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Sure I'll Pay For TV, But On My Terms

What if we could buy channels individually instead of in a bundle? Here's what EW columnist Dalton Ross would shell out for his favorite (and least favorite) networks

At press time, CBS and Time Warner Cable were still locked in a bitter battle, with the network asking for a reported $2 per subscriber per month from the cable company, and the cable company in turn removing the network from its lineup in top markets. When I heard the news about all the TWC customers now deprived of CBS, all I could think was…those lucky bastards. I wish I had someone like Time Warner Cable to prevent me from wasting three hours of my life every week watching the racists and homophobes currently populating the Big Brother house.

But enough about my lack of standards and willpower. It got me thinking, is $2 a month worth it for CBS? For me, the answer is yes, if only to satisfy my pathetic Survivor and Good Wife addictions. However, what if you were allowed to order up all your channels à la carte instead of in the standard bundle package? Of course, this will most likely never happen, as networks prefer to be in as many households as possible rather than letting customers simply pick and choose, but what if you could? Here’s what I’d be willing to shell out for some of the other channels.

NBC $1.50 a month
Granted, that’s a lot of money for a network that not so long ago was airing Guys With Kids, Smash, Animal Practice, and Are You There, Chelsea? But what I really like about NBC is that you never quite know when Christina Aguilera is going to pop onto your screen dressed like a cross between a French Revolution hooker and Pamela Anderson’s understudy in Barb Wire. There’s a price to pay for that kind of service.

ABC $1 a month
(though I’d demand a $1,000 credit for making me sit through last season’s embarrassing ”evil sober companion” story line on Nashville)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Shark Tank are must-sees for me, and thanks to my Nashville refund, I will be watching them free for the next 83 years.

PBS 80¢ a month
($5 if I get a free tote bag)
Happy wife = happy life, and if milady doesn’t get her Downton Abbey, we will have our own upstairs-downstairs situation. As in me sleeping downstairs on the couch.

AMC $1,000,000,000 a month
Who are we kidding? I’m completely screwed here and they know it. No way I can survive without seeing if Walt and Jesse survive the Breaking Bad finale. And then those damn Walking Dead zombies come lumbering back, ensuring that AMC can continue to pretty much name its price.

Destination America 10¢ a month
Honestly, I don’t really understand what this channel even is. All I know is that it airs something called Hillbilly Blood, which is either a horror movie or a reality show that involves the random slaughter of innocent hillbillies. Either way, I’m willing to pay a dime to find out.

FOX 75¢ a month
($1.25 if it resurrects Ben and Kate from the dead)
Wow. By bringing back The X Factor, the folks at Fox are making a clear statement that they really don’t want anyone in the entire universe to pay for their channel. But I will do so anyway, if only for New Girl and the upcoming Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Could’ve been more had the network not prematurely canceled its best sitcom.

TLC Negative $5 a month
That’s right, TLC needs to pay me if it is going to keep airing things like The Man With the 132 lb Scrotum. Also, I’m sorry, but SINCE WHEN CAN A SCROTUM GET ITS OWN TV SHOW?!? And what exactly is hiding inside that humongous 132-lb. scrotum? I mean, besides TLC’s dignity, of course.