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Episode 488: The Secret History Of Your Cable Bill

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16 min 52 sec
 
If you have cable you pay a secret price for each channel, whether you watch it or not. i i
iStockphoto.com
If you have cable you pay a secret price for each channel, whether you watch it or not.
iStockphoto.com

If you have cable, your bill has probably doubled over the past decade. The rise is largely driven by fees for channels you have to pay for, whether you want them or not. ESPN alone is costing you more than $5 a month — even if you never watch it.

On today's show, we answer the question every cable subscriber has asked: Why can't I just pay for the channels I want?

For more on the cable business, see our post, The Most (And Least) Expensive Cable Channels, In 1 Graph, and Adam Davidson's column, The 'Mad Men' Economic Miracle.

Music: Dinah Washington's "T.V. Is The Thing This Year." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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