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Technology, not programming, driving up cable costs, claims ESPN chief

ESPN/ABC Sports president George Bodenheimer says the main factor driving cable costs is not programming, but rather the substantial upgrade in technology infrastructure cable operators have undertaken in recent years to provide new products and services.

Speaking last week at the National Press Club, Bodehheimer struck back at Cox Communications for suggesting that high programming costs at ESPN are contributing to higher cable rates.

Bodenheimer cited an ESPN-commissioned study by CapAnalysis that finds cable television is a great entertainment value for the money, cable operators investments in new technology are “good for America,” government regulation is not warranted’ and ESPN is cable’s most “valuable” service.

He said Cox customers pay more each month for overhead costs and capital expenditures than they do for the programming they watch. “Bottom line? Programming costs, in general, and ESPN in particular are clearly not driving retail rates,” Bodenheimer claimed.

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