Feeling gloomy about Rutgers continuing to be stuck in the Big East? Who isn't, but Matt Hayes from the Sporting News at least reports that NBC/Versus continue to have interest in bidding on the Big East's television contract. That's important, if only to scare ESPN into pushing another conference to act. Well, until the one true superconference comes into fruition. This conversation is also interesting in the context of growing cable provider frustration over ESPN's fees. Right on the heels of that, the NY Times crunched the numbers, finding that the average cable subscriber pays $100 a year for sports. Maybe this is just anecdotal evidence, but it does seem like more and more people are dropping cable for iTunes/Netflix/Amazon/etc... All the more reason for sports networks like ESPN to actually get their heads together and offer a comprehensive on-demand service. Why, oh why, do consumers always seem to feel the negative effects of cartels, and never the seemingly-benevolent benefits? Is the lack of any half-way decent on demand (which would at most require the finest technology that 1996 have to offer) more a result of rights issues, or of ESPN and the various leagues being scared to death of anything that could even theoretically seem like a slippery slope to ala carte cable?