Network decay doesn't kill channels, people kill channels. Had Cartoon Network focused on live-action shows that had SOMETHING to do with animation (Out of Jimmy's Head, Level Up) CN Real wouldn't have been as much of a cancer as the CN babies-I mean, fanboys have made it out to be.
a successful Channel drift is when a network finds what works, gets rid of what doesn't, and then expands their programming to better represent what the're supposed to broadcast. A&E did this by dropping biographies in favor of documentaries and drama shows and AMC did this by focusing more on original programming akin to something seen on pay tv. Because of decay, channels that no one was supposed to give a crap about - such as TLC and Court TV - are now drawing ratings akin to the big four; that's decay done right.
The REAL problem with drift is that networks use decay as an excuse not to improve their channel but to sabotage it. G4 adding non-gaming or tech programming, History adding non-historical programming, Syfy showing professional wrestling, ...do I need to bring up Cartoon Network again? They use drift as an excuse to broadcast shows their not supposed to in order to compete with networks they're not supposed to compete against; ...Again, I'm looking at Cartoon Network.
To me, they just want to broadcast the same shows as the network their trying to compete against. Sure, they're beating them in ratings, but now their channel is just like their competitor. There's no diversity and there's no competition because everyone is trying to get high schoolers and brain-damaged teenage girls to watch the same crappy programming we've already seen on other networks. ...Sorry, I was thinking about It's a Laugh Productions.
The only channels that have the excuse to do whatever they like when it comes to decay are the likes of music channels (Much, M3, MTV) and movie channels (IFC, AMC) because nobody watches either of them anymore. But my point is, if I want to watch basketball, I'll watch a sports channel...not IFC.