Most people I know who still subscribe would gladly ditch cable/satellite if they could stream ESPN even if it cost $20/month
This is the biggest problem, and why Cable/Hollywood/Big Four Sports all need cable to stick around. I'm just two channels shy of ditching cable completely, Fox Sports and NBCSN. I basically only watch live sports on TV, nothing else. My wife watches a bunch of stuff, but it's all on Netflix/Roku/Web so it doesn't hurt her to dump cable. I have MythTV that can record free OTA HD. But until I can watch the Bulls/Cubs (well...)/Blackhawks live, I'm out of luck, and face the issue of paying for cable. I may hate it, but right now, that's the choice. This is why the MLB, NHL, and NBA black out the local teams broadcast on their streaming services. Because Fox/ESPN/NBC/CBS force contracts that say they must (I doubt that clause is ever disputed). This is why people like me will chose to pay for content they don't care about to watch the content they do care about. I'd pay major sports double what they're charging now for online access to get local teams.
And good luck getting al a carte. HA!!! The FCC is simply making noise to at least look like they care about consumers. I'll be walking on Mars before they push that one through.
As a side note, the way channel costs are divided up are somewhat entertaining, as is the now regular fights between content providers and cable/sat companies.I think ESPN pry makes up almost $5 of the total cost of your bill on it's own and a small collection of big channels make up half of the total cost you pay. Whereas HGTV might be less than $.40 cents. It should be capitalism at it's best, but I think since there are like 4 or 5 content providers, it's pry more oligarchical than a good competition. This is here in the states, and based on some tables I saw a few years ago. I don't think it has changed much since then, or would assume not much based on a cable package costing somewhere between $60 and $80. Cable company has to make money too.