said by elray:
That's simply not true.
Directv could "hold out" as long as it takes, to sever the mandatory bundling.
If that means their customers go without certain content, so be it. Eventually, the networks would realize (feel) the loss and come back with a better offer.
I agree in theory, but not in application.
While there would be some like me who would probably not leave DirecTV over holding out like this, there are many who would not be as willing to stay. As an example consider parents of young children who suddenly might find themselves without programming like Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel if something happened around those networks. Depending upon the channel, this could cost DirecTV a bunch of revenue. (What if it was something like ESPN, or TBS, or TNT, that draws a lot of viewers?)
One also need consider that DirecTV's objective in holding out wouldn't be the same as yours or mine. At the end of the day, their focus is money (maximizing bottom line profit) and not altruism (working to achieve a cause for the betterment of others). Thus, in holding out, DirecTV would be likely to fold if offered a smaller price increase - so the scenario that both you and I dream of isn't likely to ever be held out as a serious bargaining chip.
What we really need is for an established company like DirecTV to be willing to take a large financial risk and change its operating model entirely. Unfortunately, I wouldn't hold my breath - as "established company" and "large financial risk" don't go well together these days. Maybe a smart start-up could try to do this (it would be a more likely scenario), but they're not likely to have successes against the content providers since they won't have much bargaining power.