A cable television industry analyst estimates that ESPN would cost viewers $30 per month if purchased a la carte.
According to Laura Martin, a senior industry analyst for Needham & Co. who released a “Future of TV” report on Monday, ESPN costs consumers about $6 a month as part of a traditional cable TV bundle.
She estimated that “twenty-million pay-TV subscribers, or one in five, would choose to purchase ESPN if they had the option,” which “falls below the 25 million subscribers that many national advertisers seek on pay-TV systems.”
As a result, “ESPN would lose substantial ad revenue,” and she estimated that “unbundling ESPN could result in $13 billion in lost revenue – of total pay-TV industry revenue of $150 billion a year – because of a cascading effect of lost advertising revenue and ESPN fans not selecting to purchase non-sports channels.”
As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has proposed legislation that would allow TV consumers to purchase channels a la carte.