We have all the TV we need
Let's see what's on the box.
The major UK terrestrial channels (BBC1 & 2, ITV and juuuuust about Channel 4) show repeats about half the time. And if you count the "+1" channels, 247 and everything that is shown once on the "prime" channels and then shunted off to Dave, Gold, ITVx, More 4 and all the other filler channels - the vast majority of terrestrial TV (and an even greater proportion of satellite channels) is repeats. For the "majors", these are mostly during "daytime" when few are watching. Otherwise it's a mixture of game shows, reality stuff, sports, things we laughingly call "documentaries" (which generally consist of someone vaguely famous on a "journey" and constantly repeating, everything they've told us in the past 5 minutes), some period drama, quizzes, celeb chat, cooking and soaps.
Would it matter if none of these were contemporary programmes, but just repeats from 10 or 20 or 30 (or 40) years ago?
OK. For the sports and news programmes, it might. But for all the rest: does it matter if the petty criminals we watch arguing with each other, in the weekday early evening slot, are yelling about something we haven't heard before, or are fighting over some minor inconvenience from 1991?
The same could be asked about quiz shows. The answers will still be the same. We'll still be rooting for contestant X, Y or Z merely on the basis that they look like aunt Betty, or are wearing a nice shirt.
We know that most new programmes are crap. Why else would the BBC constantly repeat programmes like Dad's Army? the latest episode to be shown (BBC2 8:30pm last saturday) was from 1970. Forty four years old, and the Beeb still can't find anything for a saturday evening that draws a bigger audience.
So, apart from the small amount of stuff who's value is down to its newness: news, weather and sport, why don't the major channels just quit making new programmes and simply resort to transmitting all their old stuff (sans those hosted by convicts, or other disgraced individuals). They should just admit defeat in the realisation that they can't make decent telly any more and start a 25 year long loop of old broadcasts, In fact, given that anyone under the age of 30-ish would find it new and novel anyway, it would probably be more successful that the current crop of programmes.