Sky didn't air those shows - they were aired by the standard free-to-air channels such as TV3. Those channels can still air those series whenever they like. Nothing stopping them except their own scheduling and greed.
My point being, Sky subscribers were always able to view the best shows for free (albeit delayed ).
But now Sky has bought the rights to a whole bunch of the best shows, so the other networks may no longer have broadcasting rights.
The money question is whether Sky and other channels still provide free broadcasts of the top shows on a delayed basis?
You pay either way.
On Sky you pay a subscription. On free to air you pay by having your eyeballs sold to advertisers, being bombarded by 4-5 minutes of screaming ads every 7 minutes, having bits butchered out of the show fit it in the slot after making room for the ads, and being miles behind the rest of the world. Personally, I don't regard $2.30 a week as an outrageous price to pay to watch some interesting shows while avoiding that cost. I never watched them on FTA as the ads, delays and constantly being jerked around by schedulers was just too annoying.
I have a number of gripes with Sky, but the concept of offering a premium subscription channel for current quality drama screened interruption free isn't one of them.
Great Post, couldn't have said it any better.