Sirius and XM are planning to allow customers to pick their own radio stations. How great is that?

For $6.99, you can pick either 50 XM or 50 Sirius stations. If you pay $14.99, you could pick up to 100 channels from both series’ menus, and you can add channels for another 25 cents per month each.

This sounds like a great idea to me. The only question I have is why can’t I do this with my cable TV company? I’d love to structure my own cable channels. Then, Sam could have the special Spanish-language soccer station he loves. I’d even pay extra for HBO and Showtime.

I talked about this on the Clark Howard Show today. Here’s what one listener said:

I have been wondering that for years. If the cable company can turn on and off the “premium channels” because we won’t pay for them, why can’t we turn around and say I don’t want these other channels so turn them off and don’t charge me.

I know that out of my 250+ ‘expanded digital’ package that I have, I only watch about 25 to 30 channels tops. Because those cable channels are in contracts with the cable companies for guaranteed subscription revenue then they circumvent allowing the free market to decide if they are worthy of having a channel.

What do you think? Would you want to pick your own cable TV stations?

July 30, 2007