Which Cable Channels Cost the Most (and Least)

Cable providers have to pay media producers a set amount per subscriber. To offset the costs of the higher-priced channels (particularly ESPN), your cable company bundles those channels into tier plans, so that many people subsidize those higher-priced channels. This means, on the one hand, that many people are paying for ESPN even if they never watch sports. On the other hand, there are people who only get cable so they can watch sports on ESPN. You're not alone: most cable customers pay for 80 or more channels and watch only a half-dozen or so. NPR's Planet Money explains the system more in their podcast. Meanwhile, this handy chart has the highest and lowest prices media producers charge cable companies. Link  -via Digg

(Image credit: Quoctrung Bui / NPR)

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This is why I canceled cable. Hulu plus Netflix and I have everything I want to watch (except Game of Thrones, siiiigh) for less than a quarter of what the most basic tier of cable costs in my neighborhood. I'm never going back until the system overhauls so I don't have to subsidize sports anymore. I hope the cable companies adapt or die.
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