Like you were supposed to when you started charging for cable. Who knows, you could make more money by offering a better product.
I don't think that they could make more money by dropping ads because many many people just aren't bothered by ads, and that drives me almost as crazy as having to sit through ads. And everything in the U.S. has more ads now. As an example, I've been watching football (the real football, not American hand-egg) for about five years, in particular English football. For about three seasons, I paid a subscription fee of $150/year so that I could watch every Premier League game online commercial-free for up to one week after the game aired. This also included many FA Cup matches and some matches from other leagues and even sports like rugby. I would have gladly paid double for this kind of service. So when the EPL was rebid and NBC won the American rights, I was devastated because I knew what was coming, and I wasn't wrong. Now I can watch all matches online (for free if I have NBCSN on cable), but online there is a banner that sits above the viewing area for the game that is constant. And whether or not I watch online, there are ads every 4-5 minutes in the form of a video that plays in the upper left where the score is, and then the static logo of that advertiser displays until the next ad runs. And of course there are always things like "The Ben and Jerry's Stoppage Time." In addition, NBC only has the rights to the Premier League, so I can't watch any other competition on that channel. International football is now spread across at least five networks (NBC, Fox, ESPN, GolTV, BeIn), three of which are not included in basic cable, and all of them maximize ads (but not up to the standards of MLS on Fox, who actually shrinks the game area by about 40% every few minutes to show an ad along the entire right-side and lower-section of the screen - so I just never watch an MLS game on that network). I truly don't get why people pay for this crap. (I don't pay for cable.) I actually have a couple of modified pieces of black felt that I use to cover the top score/ad area and the bottom ticker, both of which are equally annoying. I would gladly pay around $100/month or probably even more if I could watch most matches around the world commercial free online, but I don't see that happening, ever. It seems like we're going towards more ads in the U.S., not fewer.