Chart showing costs of different cable channels


Here’s how the cable business works: Cable companies pay monthly fees to media companies for every channel they carry as part of basic cable. And then, of course, they pass those fees onto you, the subscriber. As the chart below shows, those fees vary widely — from $5.54 per month per subscriber for ESPN, all the way down to $.05 per month per subscriber for CMT Pure Country. In other words, if you have cable, you’re paying at least $5.54 per month for ESPN — even if you never watch it.