1. The Versus contract is not negotiated annually. 2. DirecTV also raised it's rates in that same economic climate 3. DirecTV with its parent company also owns quite a few channels. Time Warner also does. 4. I would favor ala carte pricing on all of the channels, I'd be happy to drop the ESPN channels and pay for Versus. The value of each channel is in the eye of it's viewers. The distributors like DirecTV say that would cost us more...we all know they're always looking out for our best interests.