Few of us like paying for TV we don't use, and there's been attempts to fix a broken model that makes TV providers pay for channels in blocks, no matter the viewer interest. Verizon's lead programming negotiator, Terry Denson, has told the Wall Street Journal that a more logical usage-based approach may come to FiOS TV. The telecom firm is in talks with mid-size and smaller content companies to pay for channels only based on how long we watch: Verizon would pay whenever a subscriber tunes in for at least five minutes. In theory, it's a win-win strategy that lowers Verizon's overhead (and hopefully ours) while rewarding the more successful smaller channels. Of course, there's no guarantee that a deal will go through -- and while Verizon will ask about a similar model when renewing major contracts, Cablevision's battle shows how much media giants will resist disruption of a steady revenue stream.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.