Why should they force me to subsidize Oprah's channel when I've no interest in watching it?
Because the people who watch OWN are, in turn, subsidizing the fixed costs of the channels YOU want to watch.
That's right. It's just a hunch, but I bet that people who want ala carte the most have narrower interests, and thus *that* programming needs subsidies more than OWN ( for example).
Started this comment intending to make an "in Soviet Russia" joke (OWN subsidizes you) but now I can't go through with it.