When pay-TV options came out in the 1980s consumers were buying choice: more channels and more options for their prime time or daytime or anytime entertainment. But when the choices are infinite and spread among Facebook (s fb), So You Think You Can Dance and Angry Birds, consumers aren’t demanding choice. In today’s world what am I actually buying when I buy TV packages, be they from a pay-TV provider, Hulu, Amazon on Demand (s amzn) or Netflix (s nflx)?

After thinking about TV in this way, I realize that traditional cable is no longer about choice. It’s about access: We have an abundance of choice but not necessarily what we crave. As an access provider for content, cable has the widest depth of content right now, but it also costs the most. When I thought about what I was actually buying, it shed light on cable’s problems but…

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