Thanks for your support, non-sports fan viewers.

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.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness

21 responses to “Thanks for your support, non-sports fan viewers.

  1. Mayor of Dawgtown

    As you said Senator, a la carte fixes this. Talk to your Congressmen and Senators.

    • It fixes it in the sense that nobody has to pay for ESPN who doesn’t want it. But, man, what those of us who do want it are going to get charged!

      • Dawg in Beaumont

        The real winners in that scenario (a-la-carte pricing leading to sky high ESPN)? Sports bars. That’s where I’d be watching most of my football.

        • Also, those season ticket prices may not look so bad anymore.

        • pantslesspatdye

          Maybe. But the pricing will be built in. A pay-per-view event currently runs about $55 for an individual. For a bar, I think it is something like $3,000. They would need a crowd and a cover charge to make it profitable.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        It would be a blessing. Market forces would finally be applicable to ESPN. The Cromwell folks would have to LISTEN to their viewers and act accordingly. Right now they are totally dismissive to the wants of their viewers.

  2. Bulldawg165

    Is this taking into consideration the revenue these companies generate from commercials? I have a hard time believing that sports programming really costs a total of $2,492 (the sum of all of those) per viewer to broadcast sports each month.

  3. DawgPhan

    Each month I wonder a little more about if it is worth it.

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Aren’t these non-viewers being penalized for their unsportsmanlike viewing habits?

  5. cube

    If I was not a sports fan, I would dump my cable tv in a heartbeat.

    • 69Dawg

      +100 I would get a good old fashioned antenna and watch some free HD. Might even get Netflix if I want other stuff.

    • I only have cable during the college football season, then I disconnect the rest of the year. Bought a Roku box last year that lets me get Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Crackle, etc, more tv than I can ever watch, and only $16/month in subscription fees ($8 each for Netflix and Hulu). Got an HD antenna for the local channels. I don’t watch extensive amounts of basketball and baseball even when I have cable, and I can honestly say I don’t miss cable at all. But yeah, during college football season, I gotta have it.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Is there a way to watch the Golf Channel w/o cable, Rev? Other than football, that’s all I watch.

        • Not that I’m aware of – but honestly have never tried. I watch the majors for golf, but those are usually on network tv, I haven’t looked into the golf channel. My guess would be no unless you can stream it on your laptop from their website, then hook the laptop up to the TV (I do this for ESPN3 when it has sports stuff I want to watch).

      • By Georgia We Did It

        Been thinking of doing just what you described. What cable operator lets you have a 5 month deal?

        • dawgtor

          You can suspend your subscription for a period of time. in 2010 and 2011, things were tight and I had the cable company put me on holiday status (or something like that) from march madness until football season.

        • Dawgtor gave a good answer, in my case though we have Charter for cable here, and I just signed up at the regular rate. Literally got my cable box the Thursday the season kicked off, and had it shut off the day after the national championship game, so had it for about 4.5 months. It was higher per month than if I had signed a contract, but still significant overall savings since I won’t have a cable bill for 7 – 8 months out of the year.

          However, I like what dawgtor suggested, and I’m going to look into that. I’m not sure if it would work for me though bc I use Charter for my internet as well, and I don’t know if they would only let me put tv by itself in a suspended status while keeping the internet active or not. Will be worth exploring though!

      • My wife gave me a Roku for Christmas. The selection from Netflix wireless sucks, unless you like anime, b-horror movies, and 4 year old tv series/hit movies.

        However, right now you can sign up with Netflix for a free trial, and watch 13 episodes of their terrific new “House of Cards” (Kevin Spacey), then cancel.

        • I watch a lot of the older hit shows that are on there that I didn’t necessarily watch before (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Breaking Bad, etc). You are correct that the movie selection is not great but there are a lot of good TV shows, and a VERY good selection of great documentaries. And the kids stuff is a huge plus for me, I have a 6 yr old and a 2 yr old, and like you said Netflix has TONS of kids stuff —- I understand that’s a drawback for some, but it’s a plus for me.

  6. Bulldawg165

    Have you guys actually done the math? There’s no way it costs $2500 per month, per subscriber to deliver sports content unless you’re talking about the gross amount the station pays. The net cost, after commercial revenue, is probably around $10/channel so if it went a la carte we would still all be AOK.

    Even if your cable bill alone is $100 month you’re saying it takes 25 subscribers to pay for 1 person to watch sports? And that non sports fans outnumber sports fans 25 to 1? Seriously? Even if you just use ESPN, it would still take 5 subscribers to pay for 1 sports fan.