They used to be in the product line-up when I worked in retail CE, and I once asked a customer that very question. She answered that she always wants to know what's going on in her neighborhood, and thankfully was honest enough to admit that it was purely entertainment. She went on to muse that she didn't know why she went to all the trouble, but she just liked having it around.
Short version, I suppose people just like to feel like they have their finger on the pulse of their immediate area. Also, it seems to make for good gossip fodder among some people.