The project might be dying, thanks to cable channels not wanting to sign a contract that would make them rely on single subscribers.


ur cable packages come with dozens, hundreds, sometimes even thousands of channels. We pay a hefty bill every month, cursing the idea that we only watch five or six channels of the plethora available to us. Now, though, Intel is working to change that—they've announced plans to launch a cable service that enables the customer to subscribe to select channels.

The project's potential is minimal, however—within 48 hours of the announcement, the project has been all but scrapped, thanks to "contract negotiations." In other words, big networks probably earn more being part of a package where no one watches their channel than they would if they relied on individual subscribers.

remote Imagine being able to pay for only the channels you watch.

As for why contract negotiations got in the way, we can point also to the idea that Intel was working on creating a set-top box that would offer cable channels "over the top" of cable subscriptions—any channel would be available, regardless of cable provider. Anywhere there was an internet connection, theoretically, would be eligible to subscribe.

Regardless of whether the project is picking up any speed or if it's been killed altogether, it's something we can still hope for—sooner or later, a company will be able to offer individual channels a deal they will like and we'll be rid of being forced to sift through pages and pages of channels and shows we don't care about.