This basically blows my mind.
One of Bank’s most interesting charts shows that sports services account for nine of the 10 most expensive pay TV channels if you compare the amount operators pay for each viewer the network attracts. ESPN is No. 1 at $500 per viewer per month. It’s followed by NFL Network ($424), MLB Network ($307), Fox Soccer ($265), Current ($259), FUEL TV ($257), NBA TV ($247), Golf Channel ($251), ESPN2 ($229), and NBC Sports Network ($238).
$500/month per viewer for ESPN? On the basis of what I’m paying for my satellite service every month, that is one helluva lot of subsidization by folks who don’t care about sports programming. Gawd only knows what some of this product might cost if cable pricing went a la carte. In the meantime, no wonder everyone keeps chasing sports programming like it’s the Holy Grail. It pretty much is the Holy Grail these days.