Sports Is Big Business

The True Cost of Sports Programming

Why You Pay So Much For Sports Networks

While most games were free on broadcast TV through the early 1980’s, ESPN changed all that by charging leagues a fee to carry games and charging cable companies to carry their network. Now leagues, conferences, and teams, including college sports, have their own networks with their own fees. These networks and conferences are charging high fees and bundling channels to force cable companies into an “all or nothing” scenario, where sports programming accounts for a significant portion of your monthly bill.

To make matters worse, high salaries and overhead of teams drive up programming costs to cover expenses. These sports networks require companies like Service Electric to include them in basic cable lineups… So you pay, whether you watch sports or not.

From 2000 to 2023 the cost of TV Sports rights has increased from $3.4 Billion to $15.4 Billion – And Climbing!

Sports Programming Costs