The decision was not made because of need for more channel space, it is all about revenue. What media companies like to do is impose false limits on technology to make changes in service seem justified. Cable does this by having 100PPV channels and claiming they need more when half of what they already have are not watched. The same way cell providers claim they need more spectrum when they refuse to implement better solutions because it will cost them more even if it would be better for consumers.
Charter and other telecom companies now make a large percentage of profits from user data. The ability to note what a customer is watching and when is a valuable product that is packaged and sold to media producers. The ability to guarantee legal users is also good to tell to board members.
I don't watch cable tv or satellite , 100 channels of nothing to watch. What I do care about is all the senior citizens whose homes will lose service requiring them to add a box to their tv and costing them more in the future. These people are already frustrated by lack of tv caused by the DTV switch so they had to get cable and now have to get a box to watch that. Most live places you cannot use outdoor antennas and DTV is all or nothing so they don't even get snowy reception which was watchable before.
Don't comment on the number of people "affected" unless you are the one asked to help seniors several times a week when one shows at your door asking if you can help them get tv channels, they don't understand why they suddenly can't , or spend time explaining to them that they have a new remote to learn. You might laugh at things like a new remote but when you can't see well a new remote can be a major frustration to many seniors. I can't say how many times I have gone to a home just to put the remote in TV mode so they can change channels. How will this change benefit them ? Cheaper service ? No Easier to use ? No
Change is great when you are the one that benefits.