I was so happy when the 3 sports channels were removed. ESPN alone cost $6 per customer. whether you watch it or not. Any price increase or channel removals is to make up for sports channel(ESPN) increases
Generally, which channels are in which packages is governed by the contract.
Someone like ESPN can require that it be available to all.
Smaller channels (both sports and non sports) may only require basic.
As the cable provider pays the content provider for everyone one that can watch (not necessarily does watch)
a channel, it is a dance to get the channel in the most packages while making it profitable.
That is why you will see channels in the lower tier and the highest tier, but not the middle.
The only way you can drop sports channels and not pay the regional sports fee is by dropping the channel package to either local or Select HD. Problem is if you drop to Select you might lose a good amount of other channels you wouldn't want to.
steven, I am abit late on response to this however this needs to be mentioned somewhere on these boards. First off the "Sports Bundled" programming is a Verizon thing and not from their provider DirectTV. DirectTV quoted me with a package without 'sports" or minimal sports programming however it would require a complete installation of their equiptment (ie a dish plus Genie tuner box or boxes, etc.,) however You'd have to get Verizon's CableCard to recieve any remaining Verizon's services. I got quoted for all the channels that Verizon decided to drop in leiu of the new International and sports programming interess.I find it funny that the provider of the provider cannot offer the same to their customers. I lost it when they reduced my movies channels by over 40% because of this nonsense. Talk about cost! The only reason I'm still here is because my 82 year old mother does want to deal with learning curve required with the new DirectTV equiptment. one of a host of reason I've never re-upped my contract. It's worth $5 a month and my piece of mind knowing that I get off this freight train whenever I want or get really fed up 🙂