I agree with the general sentiment that there’s a diminishing amount of worthwhile things to watch on free-to-air TV (and also the one about not wanting to give Murdoch money). But I’m not as distressed about it as many other people on this thread seem to be.
The fact is that FTA TV requires advertising to pay for it and advertising requires “eyeballs” to justify paying for airtime. This worked when FTA was the only game in town. Nowadays, as kids become employed consumers they’re finding more and more interesting things to do on The Internet. This includes “TV like” things such-as YouTube, Twitch.tv and NetFlix as well as other media offerings like social networks and video games.
They used to claim the drop in viewership was purely due to piracy (which is only partially true) and this was a problem that could be “solved” with better anti-piracy measures (Which has never been true). Ultimately people took their attention elsewhere, where they had better control over where/when/how they consumed content (and what that content was).
I don’t see this as a lamentable thing. I’m surprised how the licensed FTA model is still going as good as it still is, frankly. Personally I’m happy watching TV shows when/where I want (e.g. on the bus as I go to/from work) and without any uninteresting ads (Pet peeves: nappy and car ads) and this is all legal.