I live in the US and I assume you have been here because you are so right!
I stopped paying for Cable or Satellite television four years ago because I was SICK, SICK, SICK of 18 month contracts at close to $100.00 each month to pay for company selected channels - 85% of them I would not watch: Multiple shopping channels, sport channels with all manner of sport one can imagine (from all over the world) except the ones you are actually interested in, religious channels of every persuasion that was no my own (mostly catholic, fundamentalist, or preachers telling you how to live but rarely mentioning a Bible verse. Then there are the numerous music channels of ever sort outside of Swing, the 1980’s, Celtic or Classic Hymns which are the genres I prefer. Television channels? For the bottom rate (mentioned above) you had the option to pay for porn, or watch sitcoms with situations and language that most respectable person would find highly offensive. I can handle innuendo and appropriate swearing, and even some of the social situations of controversy if its not crammed down my throat or thrown in my face. I am certainly no prude, however the lowest of low were in the ‘cheap packages. If you wanted something that was more refined or respectful you had to pay more than than the $100.00 each month or block 85% of the programming. I enjoyed HGTV, Discovery, and other educational programs very much - but not for that price.
HBO, SHOTIME, and other channels that offer current theatre movies or interesting well-written shows came at additional cost ($20.00/mo each). Even the Encore channels (a group of five at the time the offered classic movies or older, cleaner television programs) became grouped as specialty.
Did I mention the Duplicate channels? More of the above mentioned rubbish but identical in every way other than being in High Definition, or spoken in Spanish. They counted this in their tally of over 100 channels. If wanted to watch the BBC (as so many Americans did do like some of the program offered: Miranda, IT Crowd, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Masterpiece, etc) it was inot included in the lower rung packaging, only in the more expensive package of $150.00 + each month!
Really the only seasonal weekly television shows in the 100 + channels package were the five major networks we used to get for free (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS) before these corporations coerced the legal changes for High Definition frequency ‘because the old signal interfered with airplane frequency” ! I believe the polite word for this thinking in the UK would be Bollocks, and a little more strongly would put be to refer to the ones who precipitated all of the changes would be referred to a Wankers.
I finally said NO MORE, and refused to continue on this path of highway robbery, and deceit. I am now quite happy paying Netflix $8.74/months with no commercials, and my son pays HuluPlus $9.00 month for current programs, and pull in some PBS programming free through ROKU - along with a few other free channel offerings. Lets see ... $100.00 per month for rubbish vs. $18.00 per months for an endless array of the sort of programming I personally enjoy watching with $82.00 each month left over for wonderful books, music, leave the apartment entertainment, and .... Well, you do the math. It’s a shame corporate executives aren’t able to.