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Much to their surprise, University of Maryland couch potatoes last week found the university promoting their sedentary ways. Thanks to a deal with cable giant Comcast Corp.—which last January dropped $20 million to win naming rights on the Terrapins’ new $100 million sports center—on-campus students are now required to pay a $58 per semester cable television bill to Comcast. Refusniks who prefer to spend time with their books instead of the tube must pay up or move off campus. For TV-addicted students who live alone, 58 bucks may look like a pretty good deal for a semester of Crocodile Hunter and Behind the Music. But because every student must pay the fee, students who share a dorm room—and, presumably, a TV—earn Comcast double the profits. Add a third student to the suite, and pretty soon Comcast is earning back a large chunk of its $20 million college athletics gift.

—Lauri Apple