Cable TV Bills

From Fair Pay, Fair Play pages 27 and 44-47.

“Sports are foolproof when it comes to ratings,” said Charles Bergmann, associate director of Mindshare, an advertising buying firm. “Sports fans can’t wait to watch a game; they want to know the outcome.”

Actually, it’s more than wanting to know the outcome. We watch our My Team for the same reason Jonathan Schwartz devotedly tunes in to follow his Boston Red Sox. Living in enemy territory—New York City—made it hard to follow his team in the over-the-air only era of radio. He’d regularly drive to the eastern edge of Manhattan on game day to get a radio signal. While in Paris in the 1980s, he’d listen to important games by calling a friend in Massachusetts who held the phone to a radio.  “It cost me a fortune, but the Red Sox were that important to me; they still are.” Technology changes now allow him to follow and support his team via satellite radio, but the inner drive remains the same: “I listen because it is insanely important that the Red Sox win.  My presence, in my imagination, helps.”

Pro-sports leagues and teams know there are millions upon millions of fans of every My Team who think, and more importantly act, like Jonathan. They use their monopoly control of this must-see TV programming to get multi-million dollar per year rights fee deals that fans pay for, in part, through high cable TV bills. And non-fans like Vincent Castellanos get stuck with these higher costs too: “I pay $98 a month for cable and half of that is for sports?” he told a reporter in 2012. “I’ve never once gone to a single sports channel. I wasn’t even aware I was paying for it. I want my money back. Who do I call?”

It’s time for you to join the team and get into the game. Share with the team your concerns/frustrations on this issue. Do you have a current example? Share it. Below the comment box you can see what the team is saying on this issue.

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