Cable has been able to maintain high prices by forcing customers to buy packages of channels. Even if you only view NBC and ESPN, you still have to pay for dozens of channels you may not want or watch.
That system has massively benefited the entire pay-television industry, driving up the price the average U.S. household now pays to $64.41 per month, nearly triple the amount paid in 1995 when the Federal Communications Commission began tracking prices. This has been bad for consumers, but it’s a fragile system that could have fallen apart at any time if one of the major pay-television providers had decided to offer an a la carte service.
 
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