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Sci-Fi Television

Ask Slashdot: Is It Time For SyFy To Go Premium? 607

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the toss-some-cash-in-the-hat dept.
Cutriss writes "Now that Caprica is gone and SG:U has concluded, I see new shows coming in their place such as Alphas and the Red Faction series, and I find myself asking if the fate of Atlantis and SG:U might have gone differently if SyFy had been a paid cable network. I know the Slashdot audience would probably trade a few dollars a month if it meant replacing wrestling and ghost-chasing shows with relicensed classics and more appropriate treatment of original content. Plus, with a paying audience, the ad space would become much more lucrative and SyFy could lose some of the seedier ads it has been saddled with lately, and better fund new original content."
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Time For SyFy To Go Premium?

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  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:45AM (#36082160)

    Time for it to go away.

    • by Joe U (443617)

      I agree 100%.

        It's funny when BBC America is doing better Science Fiction.

      • It's funny when BBC America is doing better Science Fiction.

        The BBC have Top Gear, which all by itself gets more viewer-hours than all scifi together.

        Anyway, that syfy channel should offer it online, not on a cable, if they wish to get money from the geek community. Most of us watch it online already anyway :-)

        • That's the trouble, of course. We may love good (and sometimes even bad) sci-fi, but we're a teeny tiny niche market in the modern world of corporations who aim for bragging rights about "billions served".
    • by wjousts (1529427)
      Damn, beat me to it. The network formally known as "Sci Fi" is probably the single biggest disappointment on by cable line up. Nothing but crap, and that includes BSG, Stargate and all the rest of that shit (although they are marginally better than Sharkopus and similar). And to top it all, it has probably the most commercials of any cable network.
      • by Kreigaffe (765218)

        Now now -- SG:1 and SGA were decent shows. It's SGU that deserves its fate. Show was garbage and I gave up before the first season was over. Just a derivative piece of overblown melodrama trying to cash in on BSG, which itself was more ridiculous and unrealistic than any daytime soap.

        • by Candid88 (1292486)

          The first half of the first season of SGU was absolutely awful. Since then SGU has actually been pretty exciting and entertaining, with actual 'sci-fi' stuff happening, but unfortunately it had already lost 75% of it viewers within that first half of season 1 and its fate was pretty much sealed.

          Add to that, Syfy playing a game of musical chairs with its schedule and giving it minimal promotion (instead focusing on monsters and wrestling instead), couldn't have helped either. Many people I know who watched t

    • by tm2b (42473)
      Yeah. The writing was on the wall when they first renewed Farscape for an unprecedented two seasons at once, and then broke their contract and canceled the final season, leaving a number of plot lines up in the air. Yes, they halfway made good with the Peacekeeper Wars, but there was much that never got resolved because of the collapse of one whole season of 22 43 minute episodes into 3 hours of action.

      BSG only got made because it was cofunded by the British channel SkyOne.
    • Seriously, I thought they had driven off all their more intelligent fans when they started catering to the developmentally challenged. I found this turn of events very disappointing until I realized, the Syfy channel isn't just for the learning disabled, it is run by the learning disabled as well. I mean look at them, they sent a marketing bot to slashdot to do some market research and try to find out why real geeks don't watch Syfy anymore.

      Wll, Mr. Retarded Marketing Bot, please take this back to your superiors: premium channels require premium content first, not last. You don't get to create literally the dumbest channel on television anywhere in the world and then complain that you could make it better if only you had some more money. You don't have money because you are doing it all wrong. You won't get more money until you start doing it right. You don't get to skip over the "getting it right" part. We are not a captive audience. We have other choices.

      Until I realized that Syfy is actually a retard employment program, the idea of having to explain any of this to grown adults would have blown my mind.

  • Uh yeah... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:46AM (#36082178) Homepage Journal

    Then they can make Megamonsterdragonfrog vs. Interstellar Goldfish with even better production values.

    This whole story is a joke, right?

    • by Scutter (18425)

      Hey! Sharktopus was a thespianic masterpiece of the B-movie genre. Ok, D-movie.

    • by skids (119237)

      I thought they were already Premium. I mean, I saw "War of the Worlds" and that drilling to earths core movie, and something about "Thor" all before they were even in the movie theater!

      Oh wait, those weren't the real movies? Just slapped together crap with the names resembling currently advertised movies designed to fool small poor children so they will stop pestering their parents to take them to the movies? Damn. I guess I missed a lot of cinema...

  • I would pay extra for it through not cable. If I could drop another $2-3/mo on my Netflix subscription to have Syfy's entire back catalog and new shows available day-of-release on Netflix, I'd do it in a second.

    And I haven't had cable, thus not watched Syfy except at friends' houses or on Netflix since 2007.

    • Re:Internet (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sarius64 (880298) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:54AM (#36082314)
      Easily. I'd pay $10 a month without blinking for SG:U to continue. Wouldn't it be interesting if Netflix started supporting entertainment based upon the numbers and not some flipping idiot's Hollywood version of science fiction. Seriously? Wrestling? Ghost freaking hunters?
      • by jdpars (1480913)
        The sad thing is the executives who made the decision to put those things on the channel didn't care about whether they were related to the station's usual lineup or not. No other channel wanted wrestling, but they had to stick it somewhere because the ads for it still have some value. So they screwed over their smallest customer group in favor of the second smallest.
  • A lot of Stargate fans were turned off by SGU - even Atlantis was too much of a stretch for me.
    • Yeah, SG:U, Atlantis, and Caprica are supposed to be examples of good sci-fi? Sure, they're better than Sharktopus or Ghost Hunters, but stellar they are not... The only reason anybody watched any of them is that they got hooked by their predecessors. I've begun to think, each time I hear an outcry from sci-fi fans when a show is canceled, that it's really just familiarity they're missing -- that these are sad, novelty-avoiding people, who desperately cling to whatever escape from reality is given them n

      • by Barryke (772876)

        Nonsense. I'd like to see more SGU (wait for it..) BECAUSE all the other shows are far to familiar. It pack some good recent ideas (from Firefly, BSG, SG1, SGA, and many many more) into a new series on a new way. I've never seen anything like SGU. They don't have the annoying whispering that BSG had al to much, for example.

        If you know of so many shows that is much like SGU was, please do share them. I probably like them.

  • Sure, why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:49AM (#36082220)
    I just download the good stuff anyway.
    • by Scutter (18425)

      There's good stuff?!

      • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:59AM (#36082386) Homepage Journal

        About 4 of the 9 Caprica episodes were good (by most standards...) so that makes for an enjoyable 3 hours or so before you come to the conclusion that SyFy is now a zombie cable network feeding off the brains of slow and unsuspecting victims.

        Hey, come to think of it, I have a show idea to pitch to them.

      • Syfy usually has one or two decent shows at any given time, but that is the limit. I do enjoy Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary, and to my surprise I found that Being Human wasn't all that bad. While I agree that the glory days of Farscape, SG-1, and BSG may be over, there is still some decent programming ... but not much. My biggest disappointment is that Syfy no longer airs Dr Who and I do not have BBC America.
  • Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scotts13 (1371443) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:51AM (#36082244)

    I lobbied hard to get my local cable company to add SciFi; and was markedly disappointed when they did. The actual science fiction content has only declined since then. I no longer see a reason to watch it at all; there's zero chance I'd pay to do so. OTOH, making it a pay channel would hasten their bankruptcy, freeing up bandwidth for something else.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:54AM (#36082318) Homepage Journal

      Really... they stopped being a network for the fans when they dropped MST3k for more "mainstream" audiences. That was a good indicator that the executives of the channel stopped caring about people like me.

      They've had some good stuff on occasion since then, but that's where it really started to die for me. Having a network where you could watch "Lost In Space" in the middle of the day as well as *thoughtful* new content was cool, but they don't run their network like that any more.

    • by Rolgar (556636)

      I'd long wanted access to it, and was surprised to find it on my basic cable. I then found the only things worth watching were X-Files reruns and the new Galactica. When they stopped running X-Files, I resorted to checking out the X-Files from the library, and didn't feel like I'd lost anything when they were dropped from my basic cable package.

      I never got into the Stargate spinoffs because I didn't have access to SciFi when the first ones started. I might go through the effort of checking them out from th

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ImprovOmega (744717) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:32AM (#36082920)
      They jumped the shark when their named change to "SyFy" it was the final confirmation that they'd abandoned anything to do with real science fiction.
    • by JMZero (449047)

      Yeah. Some executive did an interview at BoingBoing a while back. He was joking about how people give these suggestions but "they just don't get it". Apparently, people don't understand that the way SYFIE is currently being run is literally the only possible way to run it, that the revenue streams they have now are the only revenue streams they could ever possibly have, that there must be no variance from how things have always been done, that people who want different shows actually, uh, don't, etc...

      It

  • by j0keralpha (713423) * on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:51AM (#36082248)

    The public appetite for space travel, battles, and true sci-fi (as opposed to War of the Worlds: LA) has been shrinking for years. It's not just syfy, but every true space opera franchise has been slowly dying for the past decade or so, to be replaced by garbage like the "V" reboot. Even is syfy transitioned to a premium model, they may not get enough subscribers without the ghost chasers and such (I won't walk about wrestling).

  • by Albanach (527650) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:51AM (#36082258) Homepage

    Who wants to pay a few more bucks a month for another channel? I think most folk want to pay fewer bucks per month and have a smaller number of higher quality channels. Cable has no interest in delivering that, so folk are moving away in droves. The audience that reads sites like /. are likely to be amongst the first switchers.

    It could just be the economy, but subscriber numbers for cable declined in Q2, Q3 and Q4 of 2010. Personally I think it's a trend and one that will continue for quite some time.

    Broadcast television is so 20th century. If you want access to quality older issues, your best hope is from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.

    • by Albanach (527650)

      For some reason I forgot to add good old Google to the list of providers. Given that they have announced [theregister.co.uk] that they are offering movie rentals via YouTube, I'd expect to see a lot more content and a paid subscription model from them in the near future.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Problem is that each episode costs a couple of million to make and the only people interested in paying that up front for a show are TV channels. I'd happily pay to download new episodes of SGU but no investor will take my word for it.

      What we need is a rich billionaire who is also a nerd to pay for another season in the hopes of recouping the cost via downloads and DVD sales. Someone has to be first and a quality show like SGU seems like the ideal candidate.

      • Problem is that each episode costs a couple of million to make

        That's the entire problem right there. Only the entertainment industry can make the government look lean and efficient in comparison.

    • by stms (1132653)

      Broadcast television is so 20th century. If you want access to quality older issues, your best hope is from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.

      And if not one of them then Piracy will continue.

    • by fermion (181285)
      I would take it another way. Cable, due to the number of channels, has the possibility of providing much more targeted programming. The question is if half a million viewers can fund the production of costs of a science fictions show with high production values. This is the thing with SGU and Atlantis. Mostly the shooting can be done on sound stages with only occasional location shooting. SG1 had a lot of location shooting. Could something like SG1 be done on a small cable budget? Probably not. Rich
    • by daveywest (937112)
      Most of the articles I read show cable continues to grow despite pressure from "cord cutting" and Netflix. The Hollywood Reporter puts cable sub counts at an all-time high after the first quarter of 2011: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/analyst-pay-tv-subs-hit-185858 [hollywoodreporter.com]
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I agree here. There's a bit of disconnect in the original question I think. Some people assume that because they would pay for something that most others would too. If it were premium even with quality shows it would die out anyway. There's just not enough people willing to pay it. Sure you may find some people willing to pay for HBO and Showtime for a few hyped original series, but the vast majority of subscribers are there for the movies. The original series are only used as a differentiator so that

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:52AM (#36082266) Journal

    Sci-fi not Sy-phy-lis, like the current one. There's nothing to salvage after what they've done.

  • Are you assuming that these shows wouldn't have been canceled if they weren't on an ad/ratings driven channel? I hate to tell you but premium channels care about ratings, too. Ratings mean subscribers.

    And I highly doubt they have enough quality content to be a premium channel.

  • by softWare3ngineer (2007302) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:53AM (#36082296)
    if they constantly replayed Star Trek, Firefly, BSG, and Dr Who I'd be down. there is more than enough good scifi content out there to fill the air time. i just cost $ that the network doesn't have.
    • by i kan reed (749298) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:23AM (#36082748) Homepage Journal

      Here's a hint: everything has a license fee, even stuff they produced themselves because they have to pay the actors per credit. They moved away from science fiction for pro-wrestling because intellectuals are too diverse and critical an audience to reduce to a simple demographic to advertise to. If there were a premium package from my cable company that focused on real documentaries, non-action oriented science fiction, and absolutely no ads that belittle my intelligence, I'd pay 3-5 times as much as people pay for their sports packages. I get miffed because absolutely every single television channel assumes I'm a blubbering moron or blubbering moron compatible.

      The following were good, but are now blubbering moron bait:
      Discovery Channel(trucks driving on ice? REALLY?)
      History Channel(we're 100% certain that this piece of rock was portal to alien jesus, here's an "expert")
      Sci Fi(Covered in depth here, but REALLY bad. Hasn't touched the ideas of real speculative fiction in a decade)
      Animal Planet(Nature documentaries? Screw that, pet reality shows!!!)
      TLC(babies are all anyone ever wants to see!!!! We're SURE!!!)

      The following still make some attempt an any real depth
      BBC America
      PBS

      I don't inherently loathe television as a medium, I loath spoonfed bullshit supportded by psychologically manipulative bullshit.

      • by The Moof (859402)
        I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised by what I find on PBS these days. Hustle, the original Life on Mars, and Spooks were entertaining, not to mention semi-new Dr. Who. Granted, this is literally just BBC programming from a the past few years, but it's still new to me.
  • by Hydian (904114) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:54AM (#36082316)

    If nobody wanted to watch those shows for free, I don't see how charging people to watch them would have improved the audience. It isn't like SyFy is Apple or something.

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)
      I think the idea is that viewing numbers, correlated with ad dollars, will always be less appealing than those of wrestling and ghost chasers. But the lesser numbers of scifi fans might be more willing to pay for a genuine scifi channel, which in theory, might offset lesser ad revenue and prove beneficial to everyone.

      There will always be more oatmeal-brained pro wrestling fans out there, but scifi fans are passionate... and they might very well pay. I don't know if it'd work, but seems like an interest
    • by Spyder (15137)

      It's a question of price discrimination. In a broadcast free-to-view environment that is ad supported, you are required to seek as many viewers as possible. If your high desire viewers (the ones that will pay) are willing to pay 10x the rate of ad dollars, you only need to attract 10% of the audience. That might even be better than break even, first because your audience will likely be more loyal, and second with a shift toward quality the income from rebroadcast licensing may increase (you can sell DVDs or

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @08:56AM (#36082340) Homepage Journal

    The showed their hand when they renamed their channel. As in, they were more interested in being hip than being a place to be for science fiction.

    If I want premium shows I will watch HBO (usually on DVD - used to on Netflix till HBO yanked what I wanted from them - BOOO!). Considering the quality or should I say lack there of when it came to in house stuff are we losing much that they show wrestling? At least with wrestling the costumes and special effects are better.

    I will admit being a fan of Children of Dune (did not care much for their Dune remake - but the follow up was great to watch and had an awesome soundtrack) and I also found Tin Man to be great. FWIW, I thought it was NBC who did BSG and SyFy who did only the follow ups which really were muddled messes.

  • You raised an interesting point. Unfortunately, it's too hard to say what might have been. Personally, I would have been interested in SciFi (full disclosure: I despise "SyFy") if it were a premium channel. In fact, it might have been the only premium channel I would have purchased.

    Therein lies the rub. If set up as a premium channel, it would likely end up in a premium bundle rather than as an a la carte offering. I don't know that enough people would have paid (would yet pay) for the service.

    The fa
  • I know that Being Human was a British show first, but the American one that is showing on SciFi/SyFy is actually pretty good. It may not be original, but the content is there and worthwhile. I'm not saying they can carry a network on one show, but the ability for them to create shows that don't suck is still there. They just need to exercise it once in a while.
  • I haven't actually followed the channel that much, living in Norway for about 99% of my life. But I have enjoyed several of its shows, and I would like to see more of them that fit the sci fi genre.

  • Wrestling, ghost shows, and now a cooking show. It is obvious that Syfy has fallen and I don't think science-fiction is a big enough draw to be a premium channel (too much of a niche).
  • It seems like Science Fiction shows struggle to avoid cancellation on any channel, not just SyFy. Apparently there just are not enough of us tuning in. The fact that premium channels avoid sci-fi shows too should tell you something about that idea.

  • by misof (617420) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:00AM (#36082402)

    Why is this on Ask Slashdot? The question does not contain *any* indication that SyFy actually considers this, so at the moment it's just one person's speculation, nothing more. And anyway, (almost?) nobody here has the data or experience to make a qualified answer to the question in the post title.

    Ask Slashdot should IMHO be limited to questions where our collective *experience* can actually help.

    • by savanik (1090193)

      I would wager the questioner works for SyFy's marketing department and wants to test the waters for additional fees. Hopefully the response on here will be a huge wake-up call for their executives. I stopped watching about the time I dropped cable entirely - it wasn't worth me paying $30 a month for the two channels I actually watched, SciFi (before the name change) and Cartoon Network (Adult Swim).

      To quote another great Sci-Fi show: "They are a dying people. We should let them pass."

  • Seriously, the biggest problem with the channel is that they're trying to do all original sci-fi content, which, for quality stuff, is EXPENSIVE to produce. Each episode of SG-1 had the budget of a small movie. They're bringing in the Ghost Hunters and that other BS because it's cheap. Buying the rights to failed series from other networks (for example, what they did with Sarah Connor Chronicles) will enable them to stop spending money on production of mediocre crap, pooling resources onto a few shows that

    • Hell, some Star Trek wouldn't even suck for daytime space-filler.

    • I was excited when they started to air TSCC on Thursday nights, but that only lasted a few weeks and it has disappeared from the schedule. They said the ratings weren't very good. The fact that a show like TSCC can't pull good ratings on Syfy confirms to me that the core channel demographic has shifted away from the original market.
      • And this likely because the channel has gone to absolute poop. I watched SG:U until the midseason break of Season 1, after having been a rabid SG-1 and SG-A fan for years, and by the midseason, SG:U just didn't grip me. I haven't turned SyFy back on since. My wife occasionally watches Sanctuary (one of the few shows worth keeping), but usually watches it on Netflix.

        SyFy, if they have any hope of surviving, needs to re-name itself back to Sci-Fi (or perhaps something like "The Geek Channel", ditch all but th

    • I disagree that quality sci-fi material is expensive to produce. The quality of a show is based on the writing and the production. I have found that SciFi fans are very, very forgiving when it comes to special effects and acting. We're okay with bad acting and cheesy special effects as long as the story is a good one and told well.

      Example: The original Dr. Who series, produced by the BBC, on a shoestring budget. The stories were interesting, with plenty of social commentary, a lot of "what if", things that

    • by dunezone (899268)
      Ghost Hunters was a decent show for the first season. As with most of these shows like Ghost Hunters as time goes on they start adding drama and all this side crap that has nothing to do with the original intent of the show and it starts to lose its charm. This happened to American Chopper and Mythbusters also, and two other shows that are showing this trend are American Pickers (Shatner episode) and Pawn Stars.

      For Pawn Stars it was the episode where some guy tries selling The Who Woodstock contract for
  • The entire industry is shifting AWAY from linear, "TONIGHT AT EIGHT PM/ SEVEN CENTRAL!!" linear, in-your-quaint-lil-living-room networks and over to multi-screen VOD offerings. PVR devices have killed "time" and tablets and mobile devices are in the process of destroying "space" as considerations for cable programmers. No kind of content -- not The Naked Ladies with Chainsaws Channel, certainly not The Quality Science Fiction Channel, could possibly influence the launch of a premium linear network in tod

  • by LWATCDR (28044)

    " Plus, with a paying audience, the ad space would become much more lucrative and SyFy could lose some of the seedier ads it has been saddled with lately, and better fund new original content.""

    You want me to pay and watch ads?
    No really imagine if TV was free. I mean what if you could just stick a wire into the air and like magic suck the shows right out of the air for free! The people could pay for the shows by just running ads. I know it is just a dream but just imagine if it could work.
    Actually if you l

  • No. They lost all credibility the second they aired their first wrestling broadcast. I fail to see how throwing more money at the network will make it stop sucking at this point.

    You give them more money, you'll get Sharktopus sequels. Guaranteed.

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      You give them more money, you'll get Sharktopus sequels. Guaranteed.

      That's no joke. They recently announced their new season will feature such gems like Jersey Shore Shark Attack and Snowmageddon [gothamist.com]. Add that to the wresting, and this new cooking show they just added, and yes, it's not too hard to see their death around the corner,. . . Combine that with the fact that most of Sci-Fi's (excuse me, SyFy's) demographic is in the process of ditching cable in favor of internet distribution, and Dr. McCoy w

  • Syfy is irredeemably blackened by its association with WWE and made-for-TV movies that were so shitty that they made Roger Corman spin in his grave. I gave up cable TV when I moved out of my parents' attic. Syfy as a paid channel, even if cable moved to a la carte pricing, isn't reason enough to get cable again. For the good of science fiction and fantasy as art forms, Syfy must die.
  • I know the Slashdot audience would probably trade a few dollars a month if it meant replacing wrestling and ghost-chasing shows with relicensed classics and more appropriate treatment of original content.

    I agree. Greetings from the Netherlands.

  • SyFy is run by morons and has been for ages. You can't fix stupid.
  • Story submitter here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cutriss (262920) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:14AM (#36082590) Homepage
    So, I didn't want to cram up the submission block, so here's what I really wanted to say.

    A lot of you already sound jaded beyond the point of wanting Syfy to continue existing. Fair enough. It could be someone else doing things properly. I mean, right now the Science Channel seems to have more going for it than Syfy. BBC America is *increasing* its science fiction lineup where it already had more content than Syfy did. I don't know how the figures are working for Discovery, but BBCA has to see something if it's able to keep this stuff going. It's not like BBCA gets to use the UK TV franchise fee.

    I'm not proposing an ad-free network like HBO. The market is niche but it's still not tiny. I mean, a MILLION people watched SGU last night, and that's with a whole bunch of Atlantis fans up-in-arms over it. Let's say that 1M is the audience. At $3 a month, that's $36M a year alone for SGU. Plus, as I mentioned in the summary, their ad revenue will go up because the spots become more valuable. Let's figure four TV tiers - nationwide network OTA (IE - free), local OTA (free), cable (paid), premium (paid AND personally invested). On a premium niche network, these are people that are specifically interested in a narrow segment of content that the network is carrying and not just putting that channel on because Son of Sharktopus is on. You know more about these people and can spend more money marketing to them because they have the money to spend not only on cable but on a premium channel.

    And while I personally don't have a strong taste for the cheesy monster movies that they've shown lately, I was amused by the terrible disaster flicks. Not everyone's sci-fi tastes are the same, but they're close enough that I think if they weren't tainted with wrestling and other assorted crap, we'd have a really good network on our hands.

    Let's not forget that SG1 started on Showtime, and Game of Thrones is doing *quite* well on HBO. The market is there. Maybe Syfy can't do it, but someone can, and I hope they do.
    • by itsdapead (734413)

      BBC America is *increasing* its science fiction lineup where it already had more content than Syfy did.

      Well, BBC UK has recently had several successful SF/Fantasy shows (Dr Who, Being Human, Torchwood, Life on Mars) - which is a pretty unusual state of affairs for them (what I suspect is happening is that the kids who grew up on Dr Who, Blake's 7, Quatermass, Thunderbirds etc. in the 60s and 70s are now old enough to start cropping up in important roles in the BBC). In the UK, 'Who is not just a successful SF show, its a successful mainstream TV show that goes out on a major channel, early evening, on a Satu

    • by Pretzalzz (577309)

      A season should only be ~13 episodes. Virtually every quality television show not on the major broadcast networks follows this rule of thumb. So a season of SGU only gets you 3 months or $9 million by your estimation[this is ignoring the fact that some of the audience was only watching it because it was on and won't actually pay extra for it]. If Syfy is still attempting 22 episodes a season perhaps that is part of the problem, it ensures that 10 of the episodes are crap filler bringing down the average

  • As a service I can subscribe to on a roku Box? YES. itunes? YES,

    Sorry but Cable TV is dead, it's body just has not stopped flailing. Why would a company be silly and continue a dying business model.

    Also they can cut back on production costs and still out out a fantastic show. SGU did not need to cost that much to produce.

  • Note: The shit programming is there because they wanted to attract a broader audience -- Hence them dropping the "nerd's only" Science Fiction abbreviation and adopting some syphilis sounding name... SyFy

    Even the SciFi shows themselves have been dumbed down (little to no hard sci-fi; It's mostly just fantasy-fi in my book), romantic interludes and who's mating with who drama are inserted for no apparent reason other than to attract the "wider" audience (those with narrower minds who can't pay attention u

  • Very few channels can hack it in the premium space. Disney did the math in the 90's and figured out it was way more profitable to get small amount of money from everyone as a basic channel rather than a lot of money from a few people as a premium channel. The money is so much better that Disney started playing hard ball with the cable operators. You want to carry the local ABC affiliate on your system, you're going to put Disney in the basic tier.

    SyFy's issue is that they are owned and operated by NBC Un

  • by gravis777 (123605) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @12:35PM (#36085364)

    I have been saying for years that I would like to get my channels al la carte. If I can get channels for between $2-$5 each, and not have to get a stupid package, yeah, sure, I would pay for SyFy. Lets see,
    1) SyFy
    2) BBC America
    3) History
    4) History Channel International
    5) Discovery
    6) HDNet
    7) TLC
    8) Travel
    9) Science channel
    10) HDNet Movies

    Multiply by, oh, a few bucks, say, $3 a channel, and, wow, look at that, $30! Add in Taxes and box rental, I am at $50. That is half of what I am paying now, and those are the only channels I watch. Yeah, I would pay a few bucks a month for these.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake

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