Still missing the point. IF everything was separated (the only "fair" way to do it) then ESPN would still find subscribers willing to pay its price moreso than those niche channels that will have to increase from their "pennies" to be viable.
You don't want to pay for ESPN... I don't want to pay for 20 other channels that you like... it's a wash. We all agreed to this marketing method YEARS ago... by signing up for DBS or cable or whatever service we pay for. IF the model isn't working for you, then unsubscribe and look elsewhere. IF enough people disconnect, then you might see some changes... but by and large most people paying for their TV are accepting the contract.
Do I wish TV was cheaper? Yes. I wish EVERYTHING were cheaper... but as of right now... the dollars I pay per month, averaged out per day and per movie/tv show/whatever I watch is still one of the best entertainment deals out there.
I could only see a handful of movies OR attend a few concerts OR rent/buy a handful of movies or TV shows via other methods per month for the same money I spend now to get more than I can sometimes find the time to sit and watch. It's hard to argue I'm not getting a good deal right now.
Like you, I wish TV was cheaper. But, I also put the cost in context. We subscribe to HBO which costs the equivelent of my wife and I going to a movie once a month. The price we pay per month for Dish is half of what we would pay for my wife and I to attend an NFL game or an Ohio State football game. (And it is likely our seats would not give us as good of a view as the TV)
I am disabled, and my life is dominated by pain and debility. TV is a wonderful diversion for me. My wife and I love to watch TV, especially since we spent many years in a religion that frowned on watching TV. We are seeing movies for the first time that "normal" people saw 25 years ago.
for us, Dish provides a good value.
I am an avid sports fan and I watch ESPN. However, if ESPN was not on Dish, outside of Monday Night football and a few college football/basketball games, I wouldn't miss it. Our kids are all grown now, so ABC Family, Disney, etc are no longer watched in our home. We would, however, miss ABC.
This debate will continue to spin, with each of us having our own opinion about what programming is important to us. Makes for great discussions, but like with politics and religion, rarely are opinions changed.