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ESPN bill will come due

There is no better illustration of the NFL’s power as a TV attraction than last week’s announcement that ESPN has a new deal to carry “Monday Night Football” through 2021.

The cost: About $1.9 billion per year, with no guarantee of televising a single playoff game.

Why should you care? Hello! It’s your money.

During a conference call with reporters, ESPN president George Bodenheimer said the network would not raise its fees specifically targeted to cover the higher cost of the NFL.

But he did not deny the undeniable: As ESPN continues to dole out massive rights fees, it has no choice but to continue raising the overall monthly fee per subscriber it charges distributors, a figure already north of $4.50 — whether or not you are a sports fan.

ESPN is not the only expensive sports channel, but it’s the most expensive, with nowhere to go but up. Remember that the next time your cable or satellite company raises your bill. And enjoy the games!

(Cablevision owns Newsday.)

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