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

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the toss-some-cash-in-the-hat dept.

Sci-Fi 607

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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Nope (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082160)

Time for it to go away.

Re:Nope (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082170)

I agree 100%.

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

Re:Nope (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082298)

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 :-)

Re:Nope (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082192)

NIGGERS STINK. Quit making excuses for it.

Re:Nope (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082230)

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.

Uh yeah... (3, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082178)

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

This whole story is a joke, right?

Re:Uh yeah... (2)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082196)

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

Re:Uh yeah... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082476)

For some reason, there is a widespread tendency to see the name as a goal or mission and not as part of a branding strategy.

Re:Uh yeah... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082676)

For the welfare of everyone else, anyone who uses the words "branding strategy" on a regular basis should be forcibly relocated to some sort of leper island.

Re:Uh yeah... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082478)

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...

Re:Uh yeah... (0)

jonadab (583620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082530)

I have no idea what he's even talking about. I assume "SyFy" is a corruption of "Sci-Fi", as in "science fiction", but I don't know what Caprica or SG:U or Alphas or Red Faction are, and Atlantis as far as I know is a mythical lost city in ancient Greece. I guess it has something to do with networking, but are these server names, or what? He says "cable network" at one point, so maybe he's talking about home-user-oriented ISPs like Time Warner? Or maybe it's some MMORPG thing? I don't know. I'm lost.

Re:Uh yeah... (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082690)

SyFy is the new name for an American television network originally named Sci-Fi Channel. It was originally a science-fiction oriented channel, but lately has added things like wrestling, ghost/myth "hunting" shows, reality shows, and other things that don't fit in its normal category. It is known for absolutely terrible B-movies, some of which are named after or parodies of (perhaps not intentionally) current Hollywood movies. Caprica is a series spin-off of Battlestar Galactica, a popular Sci-Fi show that ended a couple years ago. SG:U and Atlantis are spin-offs of the original Stargate: SG-1 series, another popular show. And for "cable network," I assume you're kidding. Google anything else you didn't understand.

Internet (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082206)

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 (1)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082246)

Indeed - plus my cable company (as many others, I'm sure) won't let me buy individual channels, forcing me to pay quite a few more dollars per month for a package that might include SyFy, wrestling and ghost hunting :/

Re:Internet (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082460)

For a period of time on Cablevision back when I was in grad school, the only way to get Sci-Fi (it was not SyFy back then) was the top-tier premium package - it was bundled with stuff like HBO and the like. (Maybe not HBO - but it was a package above the typical 70-channel "family package" that Sci-Fi was usually a part of.)

Obviously, I didn't watch SciFi back then.

Re:Internet (4, Interesting)

Sarius64 (880298) | more than 3 years ago | (#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?

Re:Internet (1)

Thruen (753567) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082334)

I second this. If I could tack on premium content to my Netflix subscription for a fee I'd do it, as long as it didn't shoot the price up over cable. I was actually thinking the other day stations like HBO and Showtime should be doing this already, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would pay a few dollars to get new episodes of Spartacus and Dexter without paying the insane price of cable that I haven't even plugged into my TV since I moved in January.

Re:Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082466)

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

But you can't.

The cable TV business plan is: "Your money is no good here. Start torrenting." In any other business, screaming at the top of your lungs that you don't want customers and any existing customers need to immediately !!FUCK OFF!! would be seen as strange. But in the media business, somehow this is normal.

And the stockholders never sue them for it.

Re:Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082672)

$1 per channel would be fair to get "cable" content on Netflix and I'd pay it. I'd only make such a deal for Sci-FI channel...if they go back to the correct name, restore good programming (stargate, caprica, similar shows), dump non-scifi content(brainless speedo wearing steriod cases fondling each other publicly I'm speaking of you).

Don't encourage them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082210)

First they can get rid of the superstitious ghost-y drivel, then they can ask for my money. I'm not going to encourage crap by paying for crap.

Probably Not (2)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082216)

A lot of Stargate fans were turned off by SGU - even Atlantis was too much of a stretch for me.

Re:Probably Not (1)

porn*! (159683) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082390)

I keep hearing that SGU was disappointing for many SG fans but I really have to disagree. This is the first SG series that felt like it was written without the cheesy humor and contained real characters, not simple stereotypes that didn't evolve in the series. Atlantis was good but really just a copy of SG with new faces in the same characters.

Re:Probably Not (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082486)

SGU started out kinda "meh" and too "soap-opera-y", but by the time they had the typical midseason hiatus it had picked up and was starting to get good.

It was right around when it got canned that the real promising "We've found Destiny's true mission" plotline started showing up and the "who is fucking who" plotlines started dying down.

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082532)

This is why people laugh at geeks. Any hint of human drama is dismissed as "soap opera".

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082544)

The Cheesy humor was what made Stargate good. It was an entertaining show that didn't take itself too seriously and was "fun".

SGU on the other hand tried to be serious, and meaningful. That's not what the Stargate audience wanted (since you know, anyone who didn't want cheesy and fun wouldn't have sat through 10 years of it).

SGU shouldn't have been written as a Stargate Spinoff. if their story was good it should have been able to stand on it's own and by tieing it to a franchise that was so different from the direction they took they pulled an (inadvertent) bait and switch on the viewers.

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082624)

This so hard.

Did I love the characters from SG and SG:A? Oh, very yes.
I was terribly saddened that Don had died as well, he was a fantastic actor in that as well as many other series.

SG:U made a huge change to the way the characters interacted, and the episode progression as well.
No longer was it a unique world-per episode most of the time, it was focused more on characters, facets of their personalities breaking through and changing as the story progressed.
They even had unique worldly visits a little later on as they finally managed to figure out some of the systems, and meeting some new species.
The only thing wrong was the viewers themselves. They got too used to the way SG was designed that, when this change came around, they instantly disliked it.
People rarely like changes in long-running series.

But, the worst thing with all of this is the network itself.
They died inside. They haven't got a clue what to do now.
Instead of figuring out ways to fund good sci-fi and stick their fingers in and request a change in direction to shows, they simply let things stagnate and rot, then they replace it with something that isn't even REMOTELY Sci-fi!
Oh, and let us not forget the CONSTANT SCHEDULE CHANGES THAT PUT PEOPLE OFF BECAUSE THEY DON'T WATCH CHANNELS 24/7 TO HEAR THE ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Schedule changes are the most damaging things to any show. And they are usually based on terrible view counting methods that are not accurate in the slightest.

I wish they would just sell the SG:U series on to someone else, they are too clueless to do anything with it.

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082628)

This issue that seems to have been most damaging to SG:U was how poorly the writers handled the first few episodes. The first half of the first season was at times almost painful to watch, the stories just weren't getting off the ground, character development was spotty and the writers just didn't seem to have somewhere to go with the whole story yet.

After the half way point of the first season, it seemed that the writers began to get some focus on where things were going and how they wanted to develop some of the characters. The episodes started to become more engaging and the audience started to become more attached to the characters. Unfortunately, by that time, a portion of the core audience had been turned off to the series, never to return. Without that core audience to evangelize the series, its audience was destined to be limited, signing it's death certificate.

I feel that with a better planned pilot and opening set of story archs and cleaner story telling in the first few episodes, this series could have gotten a third and maybe fourth season. I know that my personal affinity for stories like SG:U is clouding my judgement here a bit, but I found the second season very entertaining and worthy of continuation. It's a shame that it's over, though I like they way that they ended it.

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082446)

I quite enjoyed SGU... I wish also they would release the soundtrack for it, some epic music in there.
Syfy (wtf is with their spelling anyway?) is just slowly sinking into deep mediocrity, cancelling the good shows in favor of... crap...

Re:Probably Not (1)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082488)

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 no matter how mediocre...

Re:Probably Not (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082608)

Wow. You're cool! Think you could come down from your holy mountain and bless us sad, ignorant serfs with knowledge about what the actual good shows are? TIA!

Re:Probably Not (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082688)

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.

Re:Probably Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082576)

Yes the mary sue charcarcters of SG1 were so much better. Everyone but the base commander and the SG1 team were morons, probably the writer attempts to portray SG1 as more heroic. Don't get me wrong, I liked the show but the writing was definitely cheesy. SGU was far superior.

Sure, why not? (4, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082220)

I just download the good stuff anyway.

Re:Sure, why not? (2)

Scutter (18425) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082250)

There's good stuff?!

Re:Sure, why not? (4, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082386)

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.

Re:Sure, why not? (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082448)

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.

Re:Sure, why not? (1)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082618)

Are Eureka and Warehouse 13 coming back to hulu? haven't seen a new episode since x-mas.

premium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082228)

The "premium" channels that I get on cable (HBO, Showtime) only show commercials for their own products. They don't take outside advertising. At least not that I've ever noticed.

I don't think so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082234)

I agree that SyFy has made the jump away from its roots in recent years (Scifi -> SyFy for starters), with a lot of core science fiction shows being dropped. I enjoyed SGU, and would have loved to see it continue. That being said, I do believe that if Syfy were to become a paid cable network, it would quickly die. I simply don't think it has a large enough fan base to sustain itself in that capacity, which is exactly why it has felt the need to capitalize on the ignorant masses with shows such as Ghost Hunters.

Re:I don't think so... (1)

RussR42 (779993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082414)

I was just reading about them a few weeks ago. Apparently they are intentionally engaging in channel drift in an attempt to capture more market share. That is one of the reasons they went to SyFy (others cited were spelling and punctuation confusion, yeah right). This is also where the very non-sci-fi programming is coming from (ghost hunting reality shows? wtf?).
Seems to me that this is the end for them. They decided to dump their niche market viewers to try to compete for the larger mainstream audience. I doubt they will capture enough of it. See also: TLC - formerly know as the learning channel.

New shows sucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082240)

I watched the crap out of SG-1 and BSG but Caprica was a soap opera and Atlantis and SG:U (especially SG:U) sucked.

Make good shows and they will last.

Don't pay for anything past extended basic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082242)

I don't pay for anything more than extended basic cable. I'm not going to sign up for more just to get SciFi (Syfy). Hell, I'm thinking about dropping cable altogether.

Seriously? (3, Interesting)

scotts13 (1371443) | more than 3 years ago | (#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? (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082318)

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.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082422)

It is an NBC Universal property so it is unlikely to go bankrupt any time soon.

The execs at SyFy need to be fired -- they are the ones trading short term gains (no series investments / cheap faddish programming) for long term growth of the franchise. Not that they will ever be -- their profit margins right now are very high since the programming is so cheap and shows are being sold to advertisers as "bringing in the under 25 set" which can bring in near top advertising dollars.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082578)

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 the library and seeing if they are worth it. After I check out Babylon 5. After I do some other things more important than entertainment.

The entire sci-fi market has been shrinking (2)

j0keralpha (713423) | more than 3 years ago | (#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).

The audience you want don't want cable (4, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082258)

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.

Re:The audience you want don't want cable (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082392)

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.

Re:The audience you want don't want cable (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082462)

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.

Re:The audience you want don't want cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082516)

I dropped cable(tv...its still my Broadband conenction) a little over two years ago..I use a HD antenna on the Roof, Itunes, Netflix, and Bit Torrent when there is no other choice to get my programming.
I refuse to get my content from programmer web sites...the quality and resolution is substandard. I would use programmer web sites if they didn't force me to click buttons otherwise have to interact with the playback, and offered HD playback I could output from computer to TV.

Re:The audience you want don't want cable (2)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082642)

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.

Premium Sci-Fi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082264)

...maybe. Anything to do with 'SyFy', absolutely not. That channel needs to be buried and somebody with new ideas needs to start with a clean slate.

Just start a new sci fi network (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082266)

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

FINE! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082434)

FINE! I'll just go start my own Sci-Fi channel! With Blackjack! And Hookers!

In fact, forget the Sci-Fi and Blackjack!

Re:FINE! (4, Funny)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082534)

In fact, forget the Sci-Fi and Blackjack!

Which incidentally is the exact same thing the producers on Sci-Fi thought when they made SyFy.

There is no hope (1)

NRP128 (710672) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082270)

There is no hope for SyFy. I was hoping another cable network might recognize the gold mine that is Stargate and other true Sci-Fi franchises and tempt them away from SyFy. When you put shows on a proper schedule, and don't air them randomly with nobody knowing WTF is going on, with huge hiatus breaks so you can sell half a season of DVDs for the price of a full season, you could develop loyal fan bases. Airing 10 episodes of SGU then killing it for 6 months then bringing it back and expecting people to care? Yeah, you can't do that. A month of hiatus for a new show is pushing it. you're trying to hook an audience, don't give them reason to forget you exist. When you get to Season 6 you can start taking huge breaks.

Re:There is no hope (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082360)

Actually, Stargate should have ended... um... as the movie.

Re:There is no hope (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082664)

Actually, Stargate should have ended... um... as the movie.

Roland Emmerich? I didn't know you had a Slashdot account! Or is that you, Devlin?

Re:There is no hope (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082508)

Midseason hiatus is pretty standard for SyFy shows nowadays. I think it may have to do more with international syndication/cooperation - In foreign countries, seasons are typically half as long as in the United States.

So one season for us = two seasons internationally on SyFy's partner networks outside of the USA.

Isn't that backwards? (1)

rjejr (921275) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082276)

Shouldn't a sci-fi based channel be going the open internet route like Netflix rather than the "we hate HBOgo b/c you have to be a subscriber" route? The only channels that should be pay are porn, only to keep the kids out. Whoever suggested this must have missed the last 2 years worth of "cut the cord" articles.

Under what assumptions? (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082286)

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.

Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082292)

That channel is dead. I removed it from my channel menu.

I blame the audience as well as the execs for SGU's death though. SYFY tried to do it right with spending most of season 1 doing character development and you know what happened? The audience said "There isn't enough 'cool stuff' it's just a drama about people!". Then when Season 2 started actually building on top of the well developed characters with 'cool stuff', and the series started getting really good, the execs looked at the numbers and said ' Shut it down, no one likes it'. Being a paid channel would not have saved it from an impatient audience and impatient execs.

The content is out there (3, Insightful)

softWare3ngineer (2007302) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Not sure you understand supply and demand (4, Insightful)

Hydian (904114) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082322)

Those channels exist to put advertisements in front of eyeballs, not to please you, or validate your "geek culture" or whatever you're on about.

Cable TV is a stupid waste of money for cavemans, I thought we all already agreed on that. Who cares what some dumb cable channel shows as filler?

Watch your B movies and night gallery episodes on netflix, ffs.

What a stupid article.

SyFy would need to become Sci-Fi (1)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082332)

That channel lost much respect with the name change and adding WWE was the shit-icing on the cake. I would definitely pay a premium for good quality Sci-Fi like BSG, Fargate, Firefly, Dollhouse, SG:U.... but not on the SyFy channel. If they restore the quality of the channel as a whole then we can talk. Hell it a Sci-Fi channel, they could lead the way in providing a premium channel online or partner with Netflix for distribution with SciFi branding. Imo opinion they should change their name to the Fy channel because there is more reality fodder than Sy in Ghost Hunters.

How about they just go away (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082340)

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.

An interesting point (2)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082352)

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 fact remains that they've already set and sailed on a course that alienated many of their (formerly) loyal viewers. After such a disastrous decision, it would be hard for any network to come back.

Being Human (2)

Goboxer (1821502) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082364)

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.

Re:Being Human (1)

indecks (1208854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082554)

Ive heard some good things about the US version of BH. I watched a few episodes of the original before and I wasn't into it.

How is the American version better?

BTW I'm not challenging that, I'm genuinely asking.

How about we get a Sci Fi channel? (1)

KarlIsNotMyName (1529477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082366)

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.

Syfy has lost its way (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082368)

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).

no, not a chance (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082380)

I'm sorry but they screwed up. I'm not going to pay $70 to $100 a month, have to watch a ton of commercials I'm not interested in, and THEN have to pay extra to get the content I want. Not gonna happen. Besides, if we did that, you don't think other channels would do the same? Next thing you know Cartoon Network will start charging for cartoons.

No I've been much happier with Netflix/Hulu, and been able to watch some actual Science Fiction (Farscape, BSG, Dr. Who.. ALL of Star Trek is coming to Netflix this summer). I just wish the cable/satellite company would wise up and realize where our TV is going to come from now.

Cart before the horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082382)

I think the content leads to the premium value. Starting with the premium price and promising future content will not work, especially with the slime merchants at syfy.

With the single exception of BSG, syfy has been a worthless wasteland. Zero dollars is still overpriced in their case.

Sci-fi not SyFy specific problem? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082388)

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.

Premium + Ads??? (1)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082394)

Do we have to wash the executives' cars, too?

Why is this on Ask Slashdot? (4, Insightful)

misof (617420) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why is this on Ask Slashdot? (2)

savanik (1090193) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082484)

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."

Taking a collection... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082420)

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 they can then put some quality into. I'd much rather see the channel divest itself of the wrestling crap and continue to cater to the original geek culture it was marketed for - buy and air re-runs of things like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Legend of the Seeker (hell, restart that one!), Witchblade, Dark Angel, and maybe some anime.

Re:Taking a collection... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082444)

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

Re:Taking a collection... (1)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082500)

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.

Re:Taking a collection... (1)

LordStormes (1749242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082646)

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 the top-notch shows on its current roster, and fill in the rest of the space with things their original core demographic actually like. I mean really, how many white and nerdy guys (think: Stargate audience) watch WWE, really? What's next, NASCAR?

Re:Taking a collection... (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082600)

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 made you think and wonder.

What about The Twilight Zone? Although it wasn't all strictly science fiction, there was enough of that, and the show was a remarkable success. That show barely used special effects at all and hell, sometimes it only had one or two actors for an episode.

While better acting and special effects might have made those shows a bit better, I'm not entirely convinced. The concepts presented in those stories were, and always will be, the most important and vital part.

It depends (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082454)

Would it bring Firefly back?

Premium... as in "Paying for Linear"? Seriously?? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082464)

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 today's fractured, VOD, multi-screen, cord-cutting environment.

Remember when (elitist post) (1)

indecks (1208854) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082482)

Remember when Sci-Fi used to have that "Adventures in Japanese Animation" block on Sunday nights (IIRC)? It's where I first heard of Lensman, Vampire Hunter D (the first one, not the terrible sequel) and several others.

I was really bummed when Sci-Fi changed its name to siffee, and irritated when it started showing burley men hugging eachother into submission. I liked the TinMan remake as well, and I was really into SG:U until I heard it was canceled, and I haven't watched an episode since it went on hiatus. Now that I know it ended, I'll torrent the episodes and watch it then. Also pretty miffed about Caprica. Alessandra Torresani was soooo hot to me, especially in that little dress she always wore that showed off her legs.

Damn.

ANYWAY - maybe it's time for another channel to step up to the plate and rename themselves "Sci-Fi" and start showing Sci-Fi! I never got to see all of Farscape, and apparently it's still waiting for its conclusion, so how about it? Any rich /.ers up for starting a new premium channel called Sci-Fi? I don't have any capital to start it but I'll be a seat polisher or a janitor or something.

Lets talk to Joss - maybe he'll be down! We'll make him president of the Universe!

Re:Remember when (elitist post) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082640)

I really don't understand how grown men can watch anime. My teenage daughter watches that crap.

I don't bother anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082490)

I stopped watching anything on that channel around the time they changed the name... not a conscious decision, it's just the way it's worked out. Turns out, I'd rather watch Sci-Fi shows than wrestling or ghost hunter show. Go figure.

What? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082538)

" 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 live in any good sized metro area you really should go buy a cheap antenna and plug it in to your HDTV. The picture quality OTA is so much better than what you get over cable. If you can get the major networks and if there are not other shows you really like then drop the cable people. Think about how much you are paying a year for your Cable TV. If you have internet than you can get a ROKU box and stream NetFlix. It is insane that the TV business has gotten this messed up. You shouldn't have to pay for a channel and watch ads! People forget that CATV means Community Antenna TV. The way it was supposed to work is if you live in a town with crappy TV reception someone would put up a tower and amps and everyone would share the Antenna. You paid a fee to support the infrastructure. Now that local stations want the cable company to pay for the right show them even when the customers could just use rabbit ears and get them for free.
The cable companies then compress the crap out of the signal and put on a bunch of channels some of which very few people want and then charge you for packages! Why can't I just pay for the channels I want?
The whole system is out of control and completely broken.
 

"Is It Time For SyFy To Go Premium?" (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082542)

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.

Syfy must die. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082564)

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.

Re:Syfy must die. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082630)

> For the good of science fiction and fantasy as art forms, Syfy must die.

For great justice!!!

Netherlands agrees. :) (1)

Barryke (772876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082572)

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.

No (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082582)

SyFy is run by morons and has been for ages. You can't fix stupid.

Story submitter here (4, Interesting)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082590)

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.

SyFy isn't a sci-fi channel (1)

jameson71 (540713) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082614)

It may be a good idea to have a premium sci-fi channel, but syfy isn't it.

Premium channel? Not a chance... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082648)

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.

SyFy vs SciFi (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36082662)

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 unless erotica is involved -- hence "wrestling" shows for those wrestling with their latent sexual tendencies...).

Shows that get dropped are dropped because SyFy doesn't care about SciFi, they care about viewer-ship. Let's face it, there just isn't enough interest from intellectuals to generate the numbers needed to convince the Nealson hypnotized execs that SciFi is worth anything, esp. not at this late stage in the game.

Perhaps if they transitioned to support media consumption technologies that the geeks get excited about (instead of TV), they could re-claim their niche. As it stands, they see the niche dwindling and say: "Add More Tard TV, the geeks have left the building"

AMC (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36082682)

AMC is able to produce Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Killing, etc. in the basic cable space. I don't think that going premium is the cure for what's ailing SyFy.

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