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December 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

With regional cable sports channels proliferating and paying billions of dollars for the rights to televise local teams, cable TV subscribers — whether they watch those channels or not — are likely to see their monthly bills rise an average of 40 percent to $125 over the next three years, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday, citing market researchers NPD Group. Bob Wilson, an executive with Cox Cable, told the newspaper that sports accounts for more than 40 percent of the cable TV bill in Southern California, although just 15-20 percent of subscribers are regular watchers. “That relationship is getting way out of whack,” he said. Meanwhile, the sports channels are not only receiving large sums of money from cable operators but also from advertisers, who regard sports programming as DVR-proof and are willing to spend more on ads for sports coverage. Charles Bergmann, associate director of media buyers Mindshare, told the Times: “Sports fans can’t wait to watch a game; they want to know the outcome. And that’s not traditionally the case with most prime-time shows.”