Middlemen Neither Google or Apple will be the white knight instead look fo first media company that decides it doesn't need a middleman and starts providing content directly to consumers via their broadband lines. IMO the best suited for this type of deal would be Viacom or Time Warner. To be specific if they made Knickelodeon or Cartoon Network programming available via broadband, you would see more families consider cutting the cord.
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
I like your line of thinking, but I think it'll be a smaller but far more influential company that takes the plunge. HBO is a good candidate. Think how many people would have paid 10-15 bucks a month, or more, to watch The Sopranos whenever they wanted, back when it was still running? The big guys look up to premium channels for their ability to capitalize on smaller audiences but still producing high-quality stuff.
Time Warner owns HBO.