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Syfy Channel: Discussion (take 2)

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Stuart Sweet, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Jun 23, 2009 #61 of 378
    dcowboy7

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    VH1 & MTV show music videos basically every morning.
     
  2. Jun 23, 2009 #62 of 378
    tsmacro

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    I don't think the name change is really going to change anything, it's just reflecting the reality that already is. I knew that Sci-Fi was really no longer Science Fiction when they started showing wrestling and it was probably happening before that, but that was the most obvious sign. I am a big science fiction fan of written variety, the tv variety and the movie variety. One thing i've never gotten though is some of the "snobbery" that a lot of fans of the genre get into though. It's as if the genre doesn't fit w/in certain parameters then it's "not real sci-fi" and doesn't belong....blah, blah, blah. I find that odd there's people trying to make sure that sci-fi stays "inside the box" so to speak when the whole genre is supposed to be about pushing limits and going beyond the accepted boundaries to begin with. Oh well luckily for me I don't suffer from that affliction, I enjoy what's known as hard sci-fi, as well as fantasy and all sorts of speculative fiction in between, if it makes me think and/or entertains me i'm happy, over-analyzing it all just to pick it apart would just seem like taking all the joy out of it for me. Yeah i'd prefer the Sci-Fi channel to be more science fiction than general entertainment but in the end I don't really care what they call themselves (even as odd and silly as the new spelling and logo look) i'll still watch what I like when they show it and give a pass to the rest, pretty much like any other channel.
     
  3. Jun 23, 2009 #63 of 378
    bicker1

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    I think the inspiration for some fans to exhibit "snobbery" as you described it is that they perceive that the more of that "outside the box" content presented, the less resources are available to present "inside the box" content. The reality is that content is presented in proportion to how much can be made from offering that content.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2009 #64 of 378
    mreposter

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    Two unrelated comments...

    Not much of a name change
    If Sci Fi wanted to change their image and broaden their audience, why change the name from SciFi to SyFy? It reads and sounds the same. The people that generally don't like science fiction but might be interested in fantasy or related genres are still going to be turned off by the name. Isn't this why Courtv changed their name to truTV?

    Niche vs. a la carte
    True niche channels might actually have an advantage in an a la carte system. If you find a hard-core audience and give them what they want, they will likely pay a premium for this service. BET Jazz would be one example - small audience, but dedicated and as a bonus, generally upscale/wealthy.

    On the other hand, if a la carte were to magically appear many of us would be looking at cutting back on channels to lower our monthly bills. Many of us might drop BET Jazz, but we might also cut back on the number of cookie-cutter general interest channels. Would USA, FX, A&E, TNT, etc, etc all survive? I'd say the lower the original programming content the lower the chance of continued success.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2009 #65 of 378
    Drew2k

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    It has probably not been said recently, but the name of the new channel is Syfy not SyFy.

    It's a lowercase F. :)

    I know that will make all the difference in this discussion. :p
     
  6. Jun 23, 2009 #66 of 378
    mystic7

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    Wasn't that the point of narrowcasting, though? 500 channels, each tuned into a specific segment of the audience. The Hair Channel, The Shoes Channel, The Bald Guy Jumping On A Trampoline Channel. I mean, how many more places do we need to see Law & Order reruns? And I'm not even a Sci-Fi fan. I only watched the channel to see Ghost Hunters, and that show got old 2 seasons ago.
     
  7. Jun 23, 2009 #67 of 378
    mystic7

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    Wow, just checked out the "website". I clicked on the Press Release, it looks like it was done by some kid taking Web Design 101.
     
  8. Jun 23, 2009 #68 of 378
    Stewart Vernon

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    Some things are easier classified than others.

    To me, "Harry Potter" is more accurately described as Fantasy. Now, I would be ok if SciFi wanted to be SciFiFantasy... as both genres have some overlap in terms of fans... but SciFi doesn't equal Fantasy in all ways to my mind.

    But I think we ALL would agree that WWE (wrestling) is not SciFi no matter how you slice things. Just like live-action comedy or reruns of Saved by the Bell are in no way cartoons.

    I'm less bothered by the grey areas than I am the clear decisions to no longer even pretend to stay within the named genre.

    For that matter... as much as I like reruns of Star Trek (any incarnation) I'm not sure I need to find Star Trek on 12 different channels.

    I think it's nice to have some "trying to be all things to all people" channels, but I'd also like to see some niche channels actually stick with their niche.
     
  9. Jun 23, 2009 #69 of 378
    phrelin

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    Yeah, but they have the cool new icon thingy [​IMG]
    ;)
     
  10. Jun 24, 2009 #70 of 378
    SayWhat?

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    That's part of the point of this thread. Ghost Hunters is not SciFi in the traditional sense of the term.

    Yet, someone like you who will follow a show to any channel may be part of the reason the channel is adding non-genre shows.
     
  11. Jun 24, 2009 #71 of 378
    bicker1

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    But it looks different, and they can make a big deal about the difference ("reflective of our broader range of imagination based entertainment") in their marketing. Meanwhile, it is close-enough to the current name that they're likely only going to alienate a very small group of über-fanatics.

    And they are right up-front about why they are changing the name: "It create an ownable and extendable brand".

    Why isn't Coca-Cola just called "Soda"? :D

    As opposed to just changing the name to Turner Channel 4.

    ... have ...
    ... had ...
    However, the typical American viewer simply never bent that way. It's a shame. It would have been nice.

    So far, the only thing that American viewers will pay a premium for is just-past-first run movies, and mainstream-interest original series with some soft-porn in them.

    With respect, I think you're looking at things through the very clouded lens of your own personal preferences. The reality that you hoped for never materialized. You might cut back and the most popular cable networks that you listed, and you might be willing to pay the $10-$12 per month for BET Jazz that it would take to keep that channel operating, but there are many times as many people who are watching those most popular cable networks as compared to those who watch BET Jazz, and there is no reason to think that a la carte will suddenly turn all those people watching Rescue Me into jazz fans.

    I'd say the lower the original programming content of scripted programming, the lower the chance of continued success.
     
  12. Jun 24, 2009 #72 of 378
    bicker1

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    Which is probably the main reason why a la carte is opposed. Narrow-casting relies on a cross-subsidy model, where channels share the burden of producing deliberately low-interest programming, by being cradled by a safety net woven of the cloth of the viewers' shared responsibility for fostering each other's programming.

    The math is easy: Take ten special interests, all needing roughly the same resources to flourish. By definition, half will be below average in viewership, perhaps even below the viability point. Some, though, will not only be sufficiently profitable, but with the capacity to foster a substantial amount of profit. The current system ties the channels together. The bottom five get enough to survive while the top few get less than they could have gotten otherwise.

    Narrow-casting, therefore, essentially relies on socialism for cable networks.

    Add in a la carte, and all the glories of the free market are brought into what is offered. The top few channels make more than before. Some others below those top few still do survive. And the rest die.

    And what are those top few channels? Do your own Google search... you'll find the same answer: USA, ESPN, Disney, TNT, etc. The non-niche channels.

    Sucks, eh?
     
  13. Jun 24, 2009 #73 of 378
    bicker1

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    The issue isn't how hard or easy it is; it is how different people classify things differently.

    However, Syfy can, because NBC/U owns the word, and can define Syfy as they believe the better portion of their intended audience would prefer it defined.

    And SciFiFantasy would be a horrible name for a television network. I hope you were not serious in your suggestion.

    Why even bring it up? WWE isn't presented on the Sci Fi Channel. It hasn't been for quite a while. It seems like you're not only beating a dead horse, but you're beating the ground where the dead horse used to be, long after the horse has been dragged away.

    If you don't think Skreetch is a cartoon character, then you and I don't speak the same language. I believe that there is such thing as a "live-action cartoon" -- a non-Syfy :))) genre comedy, within which some (or all) characters are deliberately created to be outrageous beyond the point where any reasonable person could be expected to think that they're intended to be real people. These are live-action productions where the suspension of disbelief must be absolutely without reservation.

    However, you're presuming to use your own personal definition of gray areas to judge what Syfy should or shouldn't do, as opposed to just using your own personal definition of gray areas to determine whether or not your pleased. That's a big problem. Our own personal perspectives don't apply beyond our own personal locus.

    However, those channels have a right to present the programming that best fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their owners, before all other considerations except for the law.

    Then you do not want a la carte. You'll have practically no chance of getting what you want, then. Even now, you need to understand that you're asking for a lot. It is unreasonable to expect people who's main objective is (literally) fostering their comfortable retirement to be even the slightest bit concerned about whether Syfy shows Ghost Hunters. So it is wholly and completely incumbent on the viewers to, (again, literally) through the money that they can control, provide sufficient motivation for networks to appeal to niche interests in the manner desired. If viewers cannot direct enough money in that direction -- enough so serving that niche interest that way is the very best way an investor can invest their money -- then it is unreasonable to expect niche interests to get served in that manner.
     
  14. Jun 24, 2009 #74 of 378
    bicker1

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    But it is strange. And until you can come up with a better name for the channel than SciFiFantasyStrangeStuffWhateverElse, (and remember, "better" is defined by the investors in NBC/U, and they only care about money), Syfy remains as the best suggestion yet put forward.
     
  15. Jun 24, 2009 #75 of 378
    SayWhat?

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    Except for those trying to figure out what the 'siffey' channel is.
     
  16. Jun 24, 2009 #76 of 378
    bicker1

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    And they might just tune in to find out. :)
     
  17. Jun 24, 2009 #77 of 378
    trainman

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    Even when it launched in 1992, the Sci-Fi Channel's mission was "science fiction, fantasy, and horror." Its program schedule has never been purely sci-fi, despite the channel name.
     
  18. Jun 24, 2009 #78 of 378
    phrelin

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    You've finally cleared it up for me. It's pronounced "Sigh-fee" for "science fantasy" which could encompass a wide range of programming, though wrestling is a bit of a stretch.:grin:
     
  19. Jun 24, 2009 #79 of 378
    Stewart Vernon

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    I never suggested a name. In fact, I never said anything positive or negative on the name "Syfy"... though truth be told, I don't care much for it.

    I'm mainly commenting on the change in direction the channel seems to be taking.

    It was the straw that broke the camel's back (if we are using cliches).

    The fact that they ever thought WWE was a good fit for a channel purported to be SciFi/Fantasy just shows they weren't committed to the genre they set out.

    I don't beat them up over it... but if we don't comment on the positives and negatives, there wouldn't be a point to this thread :)

    And there are already lots of channels that air live-action content of those kinds.

    What if you bought a 12-pack of Almond Joy bars, and found that 1 of the bars was actually a Granola Bar. They are both snacks, and contain almonds perhaps and so are crunchy and provide a quick energy boost... but you wanted Almond Joy, not Granola.

    Now, if the package had said 12 Variety snack bars, you'd expect other types of snack... and that would have been ok.

    So now imagine that you can't buy 12-packs of a single bar anymore... you have to buy the variety packs. That might be ok because you have a wide taste preference anyway ... but do you need 10 different companies making those variety packs if they are all going to contain the same selection?

    You need 5 packages if they each contain only Almond Joy, Snickers, Granola, Hershey's, and KitKat... but if every pack slowly becomes a variety pack then you only need one variety pack.

    No, I'm not. By definition a grey area is one that you and I can't agree 100%... that is what makes it grey. That's why I said Harry Potter is in the grey area, even though I don't consider it SciFi others might.

    But nobody considers WWE SciFi... but you didn't like that example.

    Sure they do... but when every single channel becomes the same variety... and there are 100 channels showing the same content every day, just in a different order... then we don't need all those channels... and some will fail.

    So... if 100 channels become EXACTLY the same... 50 or more of them are almost guaranteed to fail because they simply aren't needed.

    Whereas if some of them decide to stick it out and be a genre/themed channel... they are competing on a different level and might survive if they are good at what they do.

    Now, if there aren't enough fans to support a SciFi/Fantasy channel... then that's a truth that becomes self-evident and the channel will have to change or fail.

    I get that.

    I'm just surprised that a SciFi/Fantasy themed channel, that really doesn't have any other direct competition from a similarly themed channel, can't do better when it seems to be a popular genre.
     
  20. Jun 24, 2009 #80 of 378
    dreadlk

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    Stupidest thing I have heard a station do, Ever! To address one or two of the possible reasons behind this that where mentioned before.

    1) The name change being a method of attracting people who might be turned off by
    the name "Sci-Fi" will now be amicable to watching a channel named SyFy. :confused: Sweet Jesus is that just crazy or what:bonk1:! Anybody with a brain is going to think of them as one in the same except that latter sounding more like a Joke from a station that's reluctant to seriously brand their shows Science Fiction.

    2) Sci-Fi channel did start up with a serious attempt to show real Science fiction shows.
    I remember Doctor Who, Lost in Space, Space 1999 and may other old shows at the start. They did not have a real budget but for the 3 or 4 hours per day that they where on the air they only deviation I remember them making was showing episodes of "Dark Shadows" everyday.

    3) Sci-Fi channels down fall has been taking a page from the paramount book and thinking that if you slap a Sci-Fi label on a show the geeks will come, much like how Paramount figured if you put a Star Trek Label on it they will come! Well it didn’t work for Paramount, so now they rebooted and I guess Sci-Fi channel is trying the same, except I suspect they will be getting the pointy end of the boot with this dumb idea.!pusht!

    My Suggestion, scrap the name change, stop spending your small budget in making a multitude of stupid killer Insect/monster movies and use that whole budget to make one or two good series like picking up shows like Terminator Sarah Conner chronicles, or continue the greats like Babylon 5, Space Above and Beyond or create some quality series. For the other 90% of the day go back to showing the old repeats of every quality sci-fi series they can get their hands on, Lost on Space, Time Tunnel, Star Trek, 1970-80’s Doctor Who, SG1 etc.
     

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