Exactly what's happening here in Houston with Comcrap. Same sh*t, different scenario.
I strongly dislike cable, but they are in the right here. ESPN charges obscene amounts to cable providers. Enough so that it would make cable bills go up 2-3 dollars a month. For one network that only has a niche audience. And then if they do sit there and take it, every consumer will then bitch that "cable rates are out of control."
BTW, ESPN charges much more than comparable non-sports networks, and they get away with it because live sporting events draw huge audiences, get big advertisers, and are rarely DVR'd.