Originally Posted by watty
Audiences are dropping because content is poor.
Broadcast content is too generalised for large audiences who are used to web sites and prior to that magazines and books specialising in their topics of interest. Dummed down content for the mass audience will attract people with poor purchasing power (unable or unwilling to pay subscriptions even small ones, and not interesting to many advertisers due to lack of spending power).
You could have high quality content which many mass audiences might consider poor or whatever. eg a live concert in 4K or 8K from with 22.2 high bit rate sound from Teatro alla Scala in Milano*. But most people who are interested in this stuff would gladly pay €€€ to watch it live or on demand in their living room - saving admission tickets, flights and hotel, meals etc. The theatre would still be sold out.... they would generate extra cash for the multi-media rights and the actors etc would benefit with potentially higher income etc.
Or you might have a broadcast technology channel, aimed at a global audience, which I suspect would have no problem selling advertising of related products and services, and no problem selling various types of subscription. Delivered over the web like http://twit.tv/shows
As for "World Cup" type type content distribution, this can be streamed, using local cacheing (eg an SSD in each local VDSL2 street cabinet, or FTTP street cabinet) - so one copy of the product is shipped to the edge of the network, and every house served by that local hub is drawing the content of mass interest over the short link to their home from the street box. Alternatively a hybrid solution 4K or 8K DTT with a limited number of channels to carry content of wide public interest, with a browser built in to display everything else, mainly on demand.
For this to flourish one has to take monopolies like NTL (who has a snout in the conventional broadcast pay TV trough, as well as broadband, sort of), out of the loop and replace them with a national FTTP platform open to all comers (content sources and end users). The US cable monopolies like Comcast and Time Warner seem to be doing everything to block or slow down Video on Demand services, and UPC comes from the same stable.