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Customers have been campaigning for a la carte television programming for years to no avail. Most feel that having to pay for expensive television packages just to gain access to a select few channels is highway robbery. But why are television bundles so expensive in the first place? Turns out, the cold hard fact is that sports channels are responsible for driving up your monthly bill.
Take away the sports channels and you're left with a significantly cheaper rate each month. But wait, aren't sports the number one reason to get cable in the first place? Not exactly, according to Nielsen which found that only four percent of households watch sports outside of the NFL.
Cable providers are well aware of everything mentioned above which is why AT&T and DirecTV are no longer carrying CSN Houston - a regional sports network that serves Texas and its surrounding states. The idea is that if cable providers can get away with eliminating these stations from basic bundles, they can lower monthly rates and appeal to more customers.
AT&T wants to offer the channel as an a la carte option but the network reportedly isn't interested. That's because they would earn far less money that way than if they were bundled with a standard cable package.
Despite the expenses associated with sports, it's still a category that cable providers would be wise to hang on to as pretty much all sports content is watched and enjoyed live. This gives providers a leg up over streaming options like Netflix and Hulu and I suspect is one of the main reasons why many elect to keep cable at all.