If enough people had said no to Sky when they first started this subscription model back in the 90s we'd all be getting live footy for free on BBC and ITV. But there were enough "got to have the latest thing" dickheads to make the subscription model profitable enough to outbid the free to air alternatives, and now it costs a feckin fortune just to watch a bit of football on the telly.
Neither BBC nor ITV have the resources capable of covering football to the extent that satellites do. The upside to that, is the majority of our games are live and more fans can see us play.
We've come a very long way from hoping to catch poor quality, second half radio commentary on the BBC World Service every few weeks, to 30+ live league games on tv per season. Those of us not in the UK are not subject to the Saturday 3pm match ban either, so pretty much every Liverpool game is now available at minimal cost. Maybe the free to air channels can pick up the remaining packages, especially BBC given it will probably retain the highlights rights.
Until 1991, European Cup games were not shown live in the UK unless a British team was involved, not even the final. Now every single game from the playoffs to the final is live.
However, I don't know why sports rights still exist. Years ago Sky monopolised the market, now people have so many different ways of watching games, that it's almost irrelevant which station owns the rights anymore.