espn360.com - You *will* pay, visit or not.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that if you're using Verizon Communications or Charter Communications as your ISP, you're paying for espn360.com whether you use it or not.
Sarah Nassauer reports that Walt Disney's ESPN360 requires ISPs to pay for the right to offer their service. "Verizon Communications Inc. and Charter Communications Inc. -- have signed up to offer ESPN360. The biggest Internet providers, such as cable operators Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Inc., are refusing." "Adelphia Communications had carried ESPN360, but the company is being carved up by Time Warner and Comcast."
I'm all for people being able to charge whatever the market will bear for their services, and the referenced WSJ article is a subscription service that I pay for.
I really don't like paying for a top bandwidth ISP so I can visit web sites that I'm interested in, and have a little tax tagged on there by ESPN, just like they've been doing to my cable bill for years and years.
Bundling of services (where you get what you want, but you have to take a heap of crap with it and pay more) is eventually doomed because of the power of our first choice as I discussed in my previous blog entry on net neutrality. See a hilarious video where Ask Ninja explains net neutrality and while you're there, you're not watching ESPN. :)