If you looked at the finances of the broadcast TV networks, you might not be optimistic about the future of free TV.
Each year, ABC, NBC and Fox contribute a smaller share of the profits reaped by their parent companies. Meanwhile cable channels boost viewership and get growing chunks of the advertising pie. No wonder a cable company is about to scoop up NBC–largely because it owns cable channels, which also deliver a stream of revenue from subscription fees.
So why are the TV networks spending tens of millions of dollars more on prime-time dramas and comedies for next season than they did in the last season? More…