Originally published: April 2, 2014
Last updated: April 25, 2014 - 2:47am
[Commentary] The average consumer in a major metropolitan market that has a number of pro sports teams is probably paying around $15 per month to get all of their sports programming.
That’s $180 per year. In more rural markets where there are not direct channels for baseball and basketball the bill is probably closer to $11 per month or $130 dollars per year. This is a heck of a deal for sports fans. Let’s face it, paying $180 to get a huge array of the sports is a great deal when you figure it would cost that much for two people to go to one pro football game.
But the problem is that not everybody is a sports fan. It’s been estimated through polls that maybe 40% of households are serious sports fans. If you do the math and if only the 40% of households that really want sports had to foot the bill that works out to $37.50 per month, or $450 per year, and that monthly number is climbing a few dollars every year.
That’s where the rubber hits the road, because polls also say that a majority of those households would not pay that bill on an unbundled basis if they were asked to pay their fair share. What nobody wants to talk about is that the wheels are slowly starting to come off the cable industry. A recent nationwide poll said that 21% of households were thinking of dropping their cable TV subscription. They won’t all do that, of course, but it is a very bad sign for the industry when that many people say they are thinking about it. We can certainly expect millions of households per year to ditch cable. The average cable bill nationwide is now over $90 per month and many households are deciding that they just can’t afford it.