Somehow the Roku app - and I imagine others - give it to you on condition that you are paying for it already (via your provider). What annoys me is that even with a memory card attached - it still "forgets" should I fail to go to the channel after a while.Is this the case for all television stations? If I'm paying for the cable television package I think I should be able to access those same channels via internet as well.
It may well be that somewhere internal to the app, it does a periodic "check" even if you already subscribe. They don't want to be giving away their product for "free".