Because you can’t, for obvious reasons.
The odds of a change to la carte are long. The majority of the national and local sports channels are owned by a handful of media giants who like the current system and have the leverage to make distributors accept it.
“Our efforts are totally frustrated by this cabal of a half-dozen media giants,” said Bob Gessner, president of Massillion Cable, an Ohio-based operator.
But the shit is getting out of hand.
The average household already spends about $90 a month for cable or satellite TV, and nearly half of that amount pays for the sports channels packaged into most services. [Emphasis added.] Massive deals for marquee sports franchises like the Dodgers and Lakers are driving those costs even higher. Over the next three years, monthly cable and satellite bills are expected to rise an average of nearly 40%, to $125, according to the market research company NPD Group.
So far, people seem willing to pay. But the escalating costs are triggering worries that, at some point, consumers will begin ditching their cable and satellite subscriptions.
“We’ve got runaway sports rights, runaway sports salaries and what is essentially a high tax on a lot of households that don’t have a lot of interest in sports,” said John Malone, the cable industry pioneer and chairman of Liberty Media. “The consumer is really getting squeezed, as is the cable operator.”
People get pissed off enough about something like this, you can bet there’s an ambitious politician out there who will make hay out of it. Think I’m exaggerating? Kevin Drum calls this a “sports tax” and that’s just the way to get folks riled up.