Customers have all the leverage we need.
If we all called and dropped pay TV tomorrow, then the model would have to change OR go extinct.
The fact that 100 million or more people sign up for pay TV seems to indicate that many people believe the model is good enough for them.
If you are paying too much or paying for something you don't wish to buy, then stop paying. It really is that simple.
Arguments of "it isn't fair" can be applied to everywhere. Why is a six pack of Coke cheaper per bottle than 1 single bottle price? Why can't I get 1 bottle at the same price? Why is there not a Kroger closer to me? I have to drive too far to Kroger, so I'm "forced" to buy groceries at a closer store that I don't like.
Why is Wendy's the only fast food place with Chili? Why can't I get Chili at McDonald's or Burger King? I want McDonald's fries, Wendy's Chili, and Burger King's Whopper... why do I have to go to three different restaurants to get what I want? Why are the companies greedy and keep their own products only at their stores?
And so forth.
Your arguments are simplistic, at best, and quite unrealistic. Everyone cannot just decide to stop paying for cable, and voila. Prices fall.
It's also beyond silly to argue that most people think the cable model works for them. Other than on this board, I have never heard a single person tell me they think their cable bill is a fair value.
To some extent people "need" TV and they are partly captive to the programmers because the market is not fully competitive. So prices are higher than they otherwise would be.
Is that fair? I don't know. If you look at my original post, I never mentioned the word "fair." I do have the choice to cut the cord entirely, as you have repeatedly stated in this thread.
Nor am I arguing that cable prices are very excessive. I quit DirecTV because I was paying $105 or so a month for service that I thought should have cost about $80 to $85.
Personally, I tried to send a message to DirecTV by switching to Dish. I have some power as a consumer. Just not as much as in other, more competitive markets.
You mention restaurants. Well, if cable were as competitive as that industry, we'd all be paying lower prices. It isn't.
You examples of supermarkets and six packs are similarly simplistic. I have the choice of more than a dozen supermarket chains within driving distance of me. And six-packs are cheaper because of basic economies of scale.
Yes, programmers can argue economies of scale - but they have far more market power than grocery stores and soda makers. So I am all in favor of laws that make markets more competitive, but not necessarily more regulated.