Cable and satellite TV customers pay more than $9.00 per month for ESPN networks whether they watch them or not

ESPN is expected to have another round of layoffs over the next four months. This comes amidst a dwindling subscriber base that has seen ESPN lose 12 million subscribers in just the six years.

Despite the loss in subscribers, ESPN is just as popular as ever, if not more, and we can see this in their monthly subscriber fees. ESPN now charges $US7.21 per subscriber, by far the most expensive cable network, and up 54% from what they were charging in 2011, when it cost $US4.69 per subscriber. And that is just for ESPN’s main network.

If we look at sports networks available in more than 50% of cable and satellite TV homes, $US9.06 of each monthly bill goes to ESPN’s top four networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network), whether the customer watches those networks or not, according to data from SNL Kagan (via Sports TV Ratings). The Fox Sports family of networks (FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network) are the next most expensive, with customers paying $US1.86 each month for those networks combined. The stand-alone NFL Network is the only other sports entity charging more than $US1.00 per month.

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