I Want My MTV—But Not My ESPN

Cable a la carte, anyone? According to a new Zogby poll, 52 percent of cable subscribers say they would prefer to purchase cable channels individually rather than the in bulk packages. It’s possible they might someday get their wish.

Current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin supports "a la carte" cable, arguing that it would bring down costs for individual subscribers. But heavyweight programming providers like Disney typically oppose the idea because the current system gives them more leverage to pile multiple channels into every subscriber’s package. In the same poll, 82 percent of subscribers said they thought current cable bills were too high, and 71 percent said they disagree with having to shell out money for channels they never watch.

Other FCC commissioners, most notably Democrat Jonathan Adelstein, have argued that an a la carte system would actually end up increasing individual cable bills, because networks would be forced to spend so much additional money on advertising.