I'll bet you never thought you'd be jealous of Canada (of all places), but cable companies there have started offering packages where you can pay for only the channels you watch. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., cable providers are still covering their ears and loudly yelling that doing this exact same thing is impossible.
We should mention, of course, that the Canadian providers aren't doing this out of the goodness of their Canadian hearts, or even because it makes business sense. No, it's been mandated by the High Emperor of Canada (or whatever governmental system they've got going on up there) that customers deserve greater control over the channels that they pay for. So, Rogers is offering a "basic package" of 86 channels (about 80 of which you'll never watch) for $20 a month, to which you can add individual channels one at a time for a Loonie or two each.
While this is certainly a major step forward (for our arctic neighbors, at least), don't forget that no matter how much channel choice your have, you're still paying your cable company to watch tons of ads that they get paid to run (nice little racket, that), and without relying on a DVR you only get the actual shows you want whenever the cable company decides to put them on.
I mean, look, we're living in a digital age, right? I have no problem paying for content, I don't even care about watching a reasonable amount of ads if it means I pay less (or nothing) for that content. Cable companies used to have a monopoly on everything we wanted to watch, and they've been taking advantage of that for years. But it's time for them to suck it up and recognize that if they don't give people the flexibility and choice that we deserve, big cable is going to rapidly go the way of big newspaper.