You might want to consider something along the lines of Real.com's SuperPass - it includes the 24/7 "ABC News Now" as well as other music and video channels. You can also add a Starz video on demand service for an additional fee. Some people also find they get by with an over-the-air antenna and digital tuner (in many areas you can receive multiple channels free with the appropriate tuner, even if you have an older analog TV set). Another alternative is Netflix, a DVD rental service, or even Peerflix, a DVD swapping service, which can be cheaper if you want fewer than 11 different DVDs during a given month - or would like the option of keeping and owning any DVD you receive.
It's also worth noting that Scripps Howard content (from networks like HGTV, DIY, Food Network, etc.) is available free (on an ad-supported basis) at Living.com.