When Will Cable TV Go a la Carte?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tuesday at TheStreet, I argued that your cable television package will eventually resemble a menu at a Japanese restaurant

(ALSO SEE: A la Carte Cable TV Could Cost Consumers More).

Cable customers will choose a bento box (some combination of basic channels alongside popular networks such as ESPN and HBO) and then have the opportunity to select from a whole slew of a la carte choices. Think of the paper menu at a sushi place where you use the little Off Track Betting (OTB) pencil to check the items you wish to consume.

ICYMI: For the record, I do recognize the difference between Japanese and Chinese, Asian and Oriental, unlike homophobic (or is he just not very bright?) PGA golfer Steve Elkington.

Anyway ...

A la carte will usher in an era of survival of the fittest.

Throwaway cable networks such as Bravo (apologies for picking on them, but, for whatever reason, they're first to come to mind) can exist, survive and maybe even thrive, but only if enough people pony up a monthly fee to subscribe to that station.

It'll be tough because, if cable is smart, it will become a one-stop shop where you can make monthly payments for not only traditional pay television networks, but everything from Netflix (NFLX) to Amazon.com (AMZN) Instant Video to Pandora (P) to World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) all-you-can-eat offering that TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia has been covering so well.

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