I feel like this kind of programming would kill new shows before they ever got off the ground. For a long time, LOST was the only thing I ever watched on ABC. If I wasn't subscribing to ABC (which I wouldn't have been), I would have completely missed out on that show.
isn't that what Marketing is supposed to do? If you don't hear about a show, chances are it wasn't marketed well.
An a la carte change would require more marketing money to be spent outside of the channel itself, but that isnt new. i dont subscribe to HBO but i still know about their shows because they market them.
it may also require some free online previews to get people interested in subscribing... again, it's something the premium channels have done in the past. now it would require more channels to do it.
it could screw over the really small channels or the start up channels, but again, i think clever marketing could help out.