According to published reports, ESPN executives said the eight-year length of the contract was advantageous to the sports network because it will coincide with the renegotiation of all of its carriage deals with cable and satellite operators as well as telephone companies.
ACA members are bracing for yet another round of big ESPN license fee increases to cover the network's liabilities to the NFL. All cable TV subscribers will be affected because ESPN will not allow cable operators to create a separately purchased sports tier that would help shield non-sports fans from large sports programming costs.
"Consumers need to understand that programmers like ESPN are responsible for the rising cost of cable and satellite TV," Polka explained. "ESPN protects its ability to engage in reckless deal making by forcing pay-TV providers to carry the channel on the most basic programming tier that all subscribers must purchase, which means that consumers with no interest in sports are required to subsidize the sports fan. "
Polka declared the pay-TV business model broken because ESPN, the most expensive basic channel on cable and satellite, stubbornly refuses to give consumers the ability to opt out of costly programming they don't care to watch.
Please use the information below to get in touch with the American Cable Association.