Through bundling, Comcast provides a great number of channels for $70. It is up to each individual to determine if the bundled channels does indeed provide them a value of $70 though. Here's my analysis of the true economic value of cable for me as a consumer. The TV I watch is restricted to the following,
1. New episodes of TV shows such as 'The Office'
2. New movies whenever they play. Or purchase them OD (on demand) in the case of new releases.
3. Major sporting events.
My next best alternative to Comcast cable to get a similar experience is the following combination.
1. Netflix streaming + 1 DVD plan ($16 / month)
2. Hulu Plus ($9 / month)
3. Xbox Live Gold membership for access to ESPN3 on my TV ($4 / month)
4. Zune movies ($15 approximately for 3 new movie releases per month) -- Note that this will cost money on Comcast OD too.
The above combination comes to about $44 / month as compared to Comcast cable TV's $85 / month (including the $15 for OD movies). The difference is $41 / month to cover the following that is absent in the alternative.
1. [+] Access to one off shows on the 100s of channels that I get from Comcast
2. [+] One single interface / application for all my media consumption
3. [+] No startup time for applications.
4. [+] Intuitive easy to use TV interface.
5. [+] Setup help available from cable company
6. [+] Saving on voice through bundling of cable TV
7. [-] Need to sit through ads in live TV
8. [-] Vulnerable to price increases
9. [-] Pay extra for DVR capabilities
Now what else can I buy with $41 per month instead? In my case, I could spend them on Kindle books which is a more worthwhile way to spend my time anyway. So in my case, I could clearly and categorically state that the $41 didn't measure up to the additional true economic value provided by Comcast.
Of course, this is an individual choice. Perhaps you have elderly folks at your home who need to have a TV experience. Perhaps your broadband speeds are low. Perhaps you are on dial up internet. Perhaps you don't have access to the alternatives suggested above. Any and all of these could help you justify the the extra $41 in cost as true value.