I wish I could get a "cable" subscription without any sports channels. I hate sports, my son hates sports, yet we pay a bit for ESPN and "regional sports channels" that we NEVER watch! If I could get HBO, Discovery, Science, TruTV, History, MSNBC, Comedy Central, RFD-TV, Cartoon & Boomerang for my son, Encore Westerns, and CNN a la carte, that is all I'd pay for. I get locals in high def with the roof antenna.
Those "spin off" channels are useless anyway, they just usually air the stuff that has aired on the original channel a few years previous. If "A la carte" means the death of those spin-off channels, so be it!