Hasn't premier league now gone to another provider? But certainly a good idea. Almost like a freemium model. Even charging for premium shows could be an idea, although I imagine that would put a lot of people off. With this sort of thing, it is all about getting the customer numbers up, even if run at a loss for several years. This is how many successful SaaS providers have built their business.
Hmm, I don't know if it would put people off altogether. If the main content was free, but HBO shows like Game Of Thrones were paid, I could see people maybe wanting to pay a reasonable sub for a promptly-screened season of that rather than having to subscribe to an entire Sky package just to see it.
I'd love a service where you could pick from a list of all the TV shows, and they were all priced individually depending on what they were (GOT would be premium content, for example, and the back-catalogue of Time Team would be cheap), and then select exactly which ones you want to have streaming access to, then get billed a monthly sub. If you finish binge-watching something, remove it and pay less next month, or add another show. No limit on how much or little you spend. I'm sure there's probably some enormous pitfall that I'm overlooking, but I could get behind a service like that. The problem with most of them is you have to buy a whole service or at least a whole channel and end up with content you didn't want, or you have to buy the content outright at a higher cost, or rent it and be limited to how quickly you need to watch it.