The cable companies are in the unfortunate position of being caught between consumers who don't want their bills to go up and content providers that are ramming through an increase in charges to the cable companies that can only be described as explosive.
Even your local network stations are in on the racket. http://www.nab.org/advocacy/issue.asp?id=1891
Yes, your cable company pays money to your local NBC, CBS, and ABC affiliates to retransmit that signal you could receive with bunny ears but don't.
Disney, owner of ABC and...ESPN has relentlessly pursued ever increasing revenue streams from anything that retransmits its programming. ESPN has been the most expensive programming for cable providers since the 80's.
I pay $60 for high-speed data and get my programming through streaming, HULU, and buying HouseMD on DVD at the beginning of the next season.
They are in it to make money. But, it isn't easy to figure out who's making what.
Fortunately, I live near a SuperSport gym with TVs mounted on most of the cardio machines. If my gym monthly goes up again, I know who to blame.