According to a recent estimate, $4.69 of your monthly cable bill represents the fee subscribers pay for the rights to ESPN, which is currently the most expensive channel in basic bundles. According to the Wall Street Journal, the cost has risen a staggering 42% since 2006. The station and experts cite the rising expenses in covering sports as the reason, but it could just be because ESPN can do what they want.
While many channels are cannibalizing each other as redundant, and with many consuming their offerings online or on DVD, ESPN has a viewership that requires their programming in real time, making it perhaps the most indispensable channel on the dial.
Those who can do without sports can probably do without ESPN, so as the network‘s fees begin to rise, expect to see people clamor for a tiered service that allows them to forego the station. While this would behoove that subset of cable subscribers, it would put the additional cost burdens on sports fans who want their ESPN, probably to the tune of twice what they’re currently paying.
My solution? Stop liking sports and starting getting into scrapbooking and crafts. It’s estimated that HGTV only costs something like $.26 per month.