But this isn't just a money grab - this is the most effective way to resolve an actual problem.
Why is it a problem that people aren't paying for OTA channels?
In essence by providing these channels Cable providers are more likely to get new customers for Cable Internet service by doing such, even though they likely initially provided service due to FCC requirement.
In the past they may have wanted to do this due to costs of equipment to encrypt all but the basic channels, with that equipment in place at this point, they are only doing it to try and extract more money from their Cable Internet customers with multiple televisions not desiring multiple boxes and the hassle of utilizing boxes as opposed to built in tuner.
We are all well aware of the absurd add-ons and roadbloacks that have been created and/or maintained despite inefficiency for the customer: Cable box fee, Cable Card Fee, Remote Fee, Outlet Fee, Digital to Analog Converter Box Fee, DVR Fee, Switched Digital/Tuning adapter fee. Cable modem fee, Cable modem plus Phone adapter fee...
Their response to new technology/conveniences is just as absurd. They either fail to provide staff with the appropriate education or educate them to mislead or deceive the customer: What's firewire/1394? What's HDMI? What's a cable card? What's a TIVO?
Even when the "right person is contacted": We're out of those boxes/devices and we won't have them for x weeks/months.