The ‘Mad Men’ economic miracle

Adam Davidson for The New York Times:

This business model, perhaps as much as artistic creativity, is responsible for TV’s current golden age. Networks have effectively entered into a quality war. Basic-cable channels have to broadcast shows that are so good that audiences will go nuts when denied them. Pay-TV channels, which kick-started this economic model, are compelled to make shows that are even better. And somehow, they all seem to be making insane amounts of money.

We’re clearly in an amazing TV era, but, as Davidson surmises, how much of it is dependent on the quasi-monopolistic system cable providers run now? What happens when content shifts to the web?