reply to Skippy25
Re: Subsidies? I think he's saying the cable Cos are paying HBO during the free promotions, while the customer isn't (directly).
I'm sure there's a laziness factor, where people would drop a bunch of money on a bundle, but not bother with 10 different subscriptions direct to the content providers. The person choosing the cable subscriptions isn't always the one working to pay for it
That could be, but the bottom line is that they still get a vast majority of their money from subscribers and the rate is higher because they attach an artificially escalated value to the program by staying with cable.
It is basically a you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours deal like exclusivity, but without all the exclusiveness.