We've known TV networks were in trouble for a while now, but here's a couple more data points: TV viewing has dropped 3 percent thus far this season, thanks to Netflix, online streaming and other services. And TV networks' share of ad dollars will drop for the first time in 2015, thanks to the rise of online advertising.

These are both troubling signs, but the bigger picture is even more dire. It's amazing that the new "hit" network TV shows of the past year or two are getting ratings that would be considered grounds for instant cancellation less than a decade ago. (In 2007, Journeyman was axed with ratings of around 5-6 million, and that would be considered pretty decent now.) And in particular, the advertiser-supported model of television appears to be especially doomed, given how many people watch TV using DVRs, skipping over commercials.

The fundamental problem is that fewer and fewer people in the coveted 18-49 demographic even think of television as something to be watched live, and the Nielsen ratings are increasingly irrelevant.