I honestly don't know any people that started playing this game because of being exposed to it through ESEA. I know that eXtv played a large part in exposing me to it and getting me into 6s comp play. Also I know other people who got hyped from eXtv, Sal, and even other youtube contributors like Star. Also, ESEA, being the superlative league around here, has benefitted hugely from eXtv helping draw attention to TF2 and getting people signed up. Sure TF2 is still nickels and dimes compared to other games, but without eXtv existing it may already have been gone from ESEA.
This isn't about "greed" money but about being just and properly compensated. Looking at this organization it's clear that they have decent money. Obviously as a business they'll try to get as much for cheap or for free (there's always people in India / China willing to work for pennies on the dollar... understandable, but not quite "fair") but the right thing would be to offer some compensation since they CAN. It's a circular problem. They don't want to put any money into TF2 but expect money in return. eXtv wants to be fairly compensated and professional and in return would provide top notch casting, which makes ESEA look good and potentially grows the scene (a win for ESEA as well).
So here's what I gather from what eXtine has said:
-In the past ESEA has compensated casters and crew (both live at LAN or online)
-eXtv offered to go out there if they were compensated (less money than previous times doing it ONLINE ONLY)
-ESEA rejects offer, and agrees to pay less or nothing at all for an online cast. (Or possibly the same amount.. but why would they not pay less AND have eXtv there live then?)
eXtine wants to stand up to ESEA and motivate them to be more professional and supportive of the community as it would benefit everyone involved.