So, we're looking at 8.50 a month for regional sports programming in SoCal. Add another 5+ for ESPN. That's 13+ for sports.
No, its more.
DirecTV also carries MLB Network, NFL Network, NHL Network, NBA Network, and about 10 or so other sports related networks not part of the sports package.
I think you are looking more towards $20, depending on which Choice package you have of course, as not all channels are carried.
And if you look at the sports broadcasted on non-sports networks, such as TNT, TruTV, Bravo, USA, etc.... you are probably can pad that $20 with a little more, as the rights cost for those will also affect the transmission fees that providers pay. Hell, even BBC America plays Rugby matches a few times a year, and that all adds to the "worth" of the channel.
Add to that all the "free" sports we get: EUFA cup soccer. All the major golf and tennis tournaments. You are already paying for that by the sheer fact you are subscribing to a DirecTV package.
Face it: Sports Sells. I wouldn't be surprised that 20% of your DirecTV bill is sports related, whether you realize it or not. It's not all just ESPN or RSN's.
If you don't want to pay for sports, get a Netflix subscription, cancel cable/satellite, and call it a day.