Login

Why the pay TV 'sports tax' is more complicated than you think

ESPN logo

As potential cord-cutters mull the possibility of dropping pay TV, live sports on channels like ESPN have become a point of frustration, both for people who can find almost everything but sports online and for non-fans who resent the "sports tax" — the significant portion of their bill that's spent on programming they never use. At the same time, the situation is more complicated than a few cable providers or sports channels milking subscribers just because they can. Over at The Atlantic, Derek Thompson has laid out some of the myth and facts surrounding how much people pay for sports.

Contrary to some reports, sports programming makes up nowhere near half the cost of cable, but there's no magic bullet to drive down prices that are still pretty high. "Expensive new contracts means higher costs for channels," he writes, "who pass the costs to the cable providers, who pass the costs to you. That's why deals like these make sports programming a leading source of your steadily rising cable bill, whether or not you watch sports."

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.