A Few Companies Changing the TV industry are Offering More Choice and Flexibility

It has been a long time since Americans were, on average, happy with their cable television options, but things are starting to change. For many years, one of the most common complaints related to how cable providers tended to offer only packages that saw most subscribers paying for a number of channels they would never want to watch. While there were some murmurs from time to time about the FCC making it mandatory to offer "a la carte" programming, nothing of that sort ever happened. As a result, millions of Americans suffered in relative silence with service that did not suit them especially well.

That happened mostly during a time when viewers had relatively little leverage, though, and things have changed quite a bit. Today, with so many people giving up on cable and turning to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to fill in the gap, cable providers and others have been forced to take notice. Knowing that the momentum is not likely to reverse on its own, both major providers and insurgents have been looking for ways to offer something even more appealing.

In fact, a bit of progress has been made already, with a few companies companies changing the TV industry in ways that are starting to resonate with viewers. On interesting early experiment was the service associated with Sony's PlayStation video game console, where streamers could choose from a number of channels to subscribe to. That service proved to be fairly popular in its own right, exposing many, for the very first time, to the ability to pick exactly which programming to pay for.

With that early experiment having proved successful, other ventures of the same basic sort are naturally on the way. One company named VidGo, for example, proposes to deliver the same basic idea to an even broader audience, freeing Sony's service from being bound to a particular piece of hardware. Although setting up a service of this kind can be difficult, since content providers tend to be afraid of rocking the boat, the undoubted appeal of such products seems likely to ensure progress. That seems particularly true in light of the fact that viewers will be bound to expect such options in the future.