I get my internet/tv/phone service via verizon (fios is nice, even if the monopoly nature of verizon bugs me). For reasons unknown, they decided to give me free access to the Showtime channels a couple of months ago. I mostly ignored it, other than saving a couple of movies on the DVR (which I really need to watch, I guess). Well, the free part was about to expire, so I called to cancel it.
Not too interesting, right? Well, they asked why I wanted to cancel it. Well, I never asked for it, what do you think? But to put it a bit more pointedly, it occurred to me right then that it wouldn't ever make sense to pay for it. So I answered, "If I really wanted the movies, I'd just subscribe to netflix". And, you know, I would.
But there's even more of a kicker to the whole thing. While talking, I asked about faster internet service, and agreed to pay $15 more per month for that. No big deal, right? Well, the kicker was that that faster internet service also came with more TV service, including the Showtime channels. Even sillier, the Showtime channels alone, that they were trying to sell me, were going to cost $25.
Showtime has a serious business model problem, as does HBO. I find myself doubting that their original programming is enough to make up the difference. All Netflix has to do is offer a better deal to make their own original programming (which I hear they're now working on), and it's pretty much game over.
(Now to go re-reconsider that Netflix subscription, which I've been mulling over for almost ten years, now.)