think when i started watching soccer in earnest after the 2010 world cup i paid about $110 for my cable package which included and added sports package and hbo. that configuration would be approximately $145 now.
back then, fox aired two english games in the morning on saturday and sunday and two german games in the afternoon. goltv aired italian games in the morning and spanish games in the afternoon. espn had a game of the week (usually) on a monday afternoon. fox (with an assist from directv) aired every champions league game and europa league game and someone picked up the slack for the two english cup tournaments.
now espn has the italian league rights and the english cups. they aired one free italian league game this morning at 630. all the other games are only available streaming at $5 or so extra dollars per month on espn+.
turner bought the rights this year to the champions league. instead of airing all 146 matches as had fox/directv they are airing 47. the rest are only available via steaming at an additonal cost. too lazy to look it up.
nbc has had the rights to the english premier league and they do a good job and air usually 5 matches each weekend and the occasional midweek match but for the first few years on directv they aired all 18 games each week.
espn aired every match for the 2014 world cup. fox bought the rights and aired on 38 of the 64. surely the rest were available to stream at an additional cost.
this is all way too much to watch. i had cancelled the extra sports pack and lost access to spain & italy (at the time) & france though mostly because i didnt want to pay the extra $15 a month. lost the last five years of messi & barcelona in the process outside of the champions league. kind of a bummer but was overkill.
now today there was an english cup final which i wasnt even aware of but espn only streamed it. theyre more interested in forcing viewers to pay for a service, steaming no less, than bring you a game of pretty high interest. kind of gross that increased interest in the game made it less accessible. and, of course, the leagues themselves are only interested in the highest bidder, not necessarily the best exposure.