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The rise of sports TV costs and why your cable bill keeps going up

The rise of sports TV costs and why your cable bill keeps going up

Last year, Americans collectively spent 31 billion hours watching sports on TV —  a 40% increase from a decade ago. 

They watched football, baseball, basketball, hockey, horse racing, NASCAR, rowing, rugby, soccer and volleyball — even Little League championships and poker games.

“Live sports is the most valuable content on the planet,” said Adam Ware, head of digital media at Tennis Channel, based in Santa Monica.

Pay-TV distributors like DirecTV and Charter Communications have written bigger and bigger checks for the rights to carry sports channels — fortifying a business model in which cable...

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