Some of you are so far from reality when Dish has a dispute.
First, they aint working for you.
Second, you arent going to save money.
Third, people arent going to leave Directv of Cable to go to Dish because they dont have a channel.
First, they are working for us. But not only for us. As a middleman, they have to make both sides happy or they stop being the middleman. It's a warped and twisted relationship that allows the companies that produce content to charge more than they could if they were selling direct to customers. But if Dish stops making its customers happy, they will stop being a company.
I believe Dish could drop the price of their package significantly if they dropped ESPN. And I think they would have to. Otherwise, the people who don't like paying for ESPN would have no incentive to stay or switch to Dish. If the cost to Dish per subscriber is really as high as some claim, they could get an incredible cost advantage over their competition by dropping the price. They wouldn't do it because they want to make less money. They'd do it because sometimes the way to make the most money is to charge the lowest price.
You are correct that people won't switch to Dish just because they don't have a channel. But they will switch to Dish if it saves them $15/month compared to their alternatives. See argument above for why Dish would be able to charge less, and why they would want to.
Dish won't drop the price if this is just a contract dispute. If they intend to reach an agreement, the price will have to stay up so that they can maintain profitability after the content returns. But if they decide that they don't want ESPN at any price, then they can both drop the channel and the price. And then their advertising will go into high gear to attract customers to a service where "you don't have to pay for ESPN." And you can "save $15/month on our most popular package compared to DirecTV." It's a message that would play well with a large portion of the population.