I believe television programming is getting far worse with every year that passes. We have crappy news channels, we have crappy reality TV. I find it difficult to enjoy a lot of the programming because of its inferior quality and overall it has led to me watching far less TV overall.
I have a few favorite shows, but when they aren't on, there is NOTHING to watch. So if I randomly have a chance to sit down and I browse through the channels, it sucks to see that out of several hundred channels there is not ONE thing on. Yay for netflix!
The state of television watching has people sitting in front of a TV looking at too many commercials and terrible content. The average 60 minute program now has over 17 minutes of ads to watch, making the story condensed even further. Add that the plots of the different stories aren't intriguing and it makes watching a movie or online demand content very enticing.
You want to know what's killing television.... Higher TV rates, advertisements and lack of variety. I had cable for the last 10 years and switched to a basic lineup of local stations. I will say this though, if cable companies started offering an option for viewers to pick the stations they want to watch, maybe it wouldn't be in a slow, downward spiral.
The assumption is that because there is more garbage on television now, this means that television is in decline. This is more the result of the expanded amount of content needed to fill the vast number of channels available. There has never been this number of high-quality entertaining programs on television. This is truly a golden age.