With sports-channel costs soaring, Verizon Communication Inc.'s FiOS TV service says it will surcharge almost five million customers $2.42 a month for regional sports networks and this week launched its first non-sports cable-TV package.
FiOS Select HD costs $49.99 a month versus $64.99 for a FiOS package with ESPN and other sports channels.
DirecTV, the nation's second-largest pay-TV operator after Comcast Corp., also is implementing sports-related surcharges.
The actions come amid a national debate over sports entertainment, which is now estimated to account for half the programming costs in the typical cable- and satellite-TV bill. These are costs in all-sports channels and general-entertainment cable channels with sports, such as TNT.