Well, that's the "new model". Back when SG-1 was on Showtime, they did 22 eps/year. Of course, they also syndicated them. I didn't have Showtime back then, but I got to see them on regular TV one season late (S1 started airing on the local channel when S2 started on Showtime).
There's no syndication of Rome, or the Sopranos, or True Blood. You watch them on their channel, or you wait a year and buy the DVDs now...or both.
Of course, ratings on pay channels work a bit differently from ad-supported ones. HBO doesn't care a bit how many current subscribers watch. They care how many NEW ones sign up to watch a show or delay/forget about canceling in order to keep watching. Not as easy to figure out, of course, but when they announce GoT will have a 3rd season the day after the 2nd season's premiere, you know they're looking at how many people signed up in the last couple of weeks up to the night of the debut to see it.
The Jedi Master
The anteater is wearing the bagel because he's a reindeer princess. -- my 4 yr old daughter