Cablevision sports surcharge
Every time there's a dispute over retransmission charges and a channel is temporarily removed from Cablevision, people complain. Back when the Yes network was new and Cablevision at first refused to pay the extortion, people complained to their representatives. The mayor of New York, and local senators and representatives pressured the two sides to come to an "agreement". When Cablevision refused to pay the extortion for Disney/ABC and ABC took WABC and other channels off, people complained to their elected representatives. Same thing happened when Fox was off and same (but less) with Food Network. If customers stop complaining about the loss of their favorite channels but instead wished them "good riddance", then this upward spiral would stop. Yes, we need a la carte pricing but we also need to be able to say to broadcast networks "how dare you" when they pull their channels off the cable systems or extort money for programs that are supported by advertising. The sports networks fight very hard to maintain themselves as part of a "basic" tier and when there is a threat to stop carrying them, viewers blame the cable companies. It's really time to demand that the cable companies remove any channel that charges more than a minimal monthly fee ($0.50 or so) from their basic lineup and make it a subscription channel. If people really want ESPN, let them pay the $5 per month that we're all paying. Or, better yet, lets get professional sports salaries out of the stratosphere and bring all of the costs down.