While a la carte would be nice, a lot of the channels bundled together would fail to grab enough viewers to make them economically feasible. You know that very few people will actually watch all 26 of those channels that Viacom has. Instead they'll opt to watch a two or three. Remove the bundling and all of the sudden the provider doesn't make enough money to keep airing all of those channels. A few might still make it, but a large portion of those channels would just cease to exist. When you lose channels, you lose variety and eventually you end up paying the same amount of money or more for a small subset of the channels you can get now with bundling.