Some sports programming—emphasis on some—is finally getting too expensive for cable companies to justify jacking up your cable bill prices even more. At least two pay-television providers have opted not to pay for at least one local sports network because it's not worth hiking prices for all the viewers who won't ever watch a Houston Astros or Rockets game, reports The Wall Street Journal's Matthew Futterman. Both DirectTV and AT&T have refused to carry CSN Houston—the exclusive network of the Astros and Rockets—because they say $3.40 a month per subscriber doesn't match the demand of its subscriber base. "We'd like to make the channel available to our customers, but the proposed cost is not fair to pass to all of our customers across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, especially based upon our subscribers' historical lack of viewership of Rockets and Astros games," AT&T said in a statement.
Already, that's a huge step toward a more affordable future in cableland. Demand for live sports has kept cable bills high and bundled because sports is the most reliable source of viewers. At least that's the theory the likes of ESPN have peddled while charging the egregious prices that cable networks force on their customers. "ESPN is consistently ranked by cable operators as the most compelling and comprehensive driver of their businesses," an ESPN spokesperson told WSJ back in 2011.