Sports needs to be in it's own HBO like package.
Maybe even Disney channel as well it's cost is about X2 the price of nickelodeon.
As for sports in most EU sat / cable systems / Foxtel / sky (NZ) sports is it's own add on pack.
canadian systems have pick and pay tv soon (and some older plans have theme packs where you don't have to take sports I think you can still have them if you keep them on bell sat tv)
canadian systems also let you buy the box / rent to own without the $8-$10 outlet / mirroring fees that we have in the USA.
Cable card flopped hear and systems still hit you with $6-8 outlet fees + cable card rent fees on them as well. BHN even used to bill you to rent the SDV tuner.
The problem is that sports are what most of the people who opt for something other than basic channels want. ESPN knows this and charges a fortune. The high prices aren't all the fault of the cable companies. ESPN has been what's kept even more people from cutting the cord.