Then Time Warner adds ESPN HD programming in my area and they decide that they will charge above and beyond the extra fee that I already pay for HD programming in order to view the channel. Bull Shit on that.
While I don't know the answer to your question, I do have to comment on this:
Unless I'm totally wrong, ESPN themselves forced the charge upon anybody offering their HD service. ESPN wanted more money, the cable companies couldn't include it in their usual packages they gave out (without losing money), so they tacked it on as an extra fee.
Blame ESPN for this hike, not your cable service.