Are Sci-Fi Fans Cheap Bastards or Just Too Few?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by retrodog, Jan 24, 2010.

Why isn't Scy-Fy only Science Fiction?

Poll closed Feb 3, 2010.
  1. Sci-Fi fans don't spend enough money to support a channel

    2 vote(s)
  2. There aren't enough sci-fi fans to support a channel

    16 vote(s)
  3. Science Fiction sort of sucks

    6 vote(s)
  4. Science Fiction that is shown on Scy-Fy sucks

    22 vote(s)
  5. What??? I thought World Wrestling and killing dragons was science fiction.

    4 vote(s)
  6. The people who run Scy-Fy will sell out to anyone with some money

    48 vote(s)
  1. retrodog

    retrodog King Button Pusher

    Feb 7, 2002
    At the gun...


    There's no shortage to non-sci-fi shows on the Scy-Fy network. Hell, they even carry wrestling crap. So that begs the question... why isn't there only science fiction on that channel? What's the reason behind it?
  2. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Notable Member TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001
    This poll should have been multiple choice.
  3. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Active Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    West St....
    I didn't vote, but it seems to me there really isn't enough new sci-fi to keep an entire channel viable.

    The quailty of their movies (made for SyFy movies) tells me that they certainly can't fill their programming time with that type of new programming and hold an audience.

    I think there's a limit to how much you can run and rerun old shows before people have had their fill of them and won't keep tuning in.

    I don't know that going with wrestling is the way to keep the channel viable (though apparently, it is in the minds of those who decide those things). I just think that without new, quality sci-fi programming to keep things somewhat fresh, they're going to have to do what they're doing.
  4. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    agreed, I voted for "not enough fans" but it's tied directly to "The people who run Syfy will sell out to anyone with some money "

    They've proved they don't care about scifi, they are only about $$$

  5. retrodog

    retrodog King Button Pusher

    Feb 7, 2002
    At the gun...


    Yeah, probably, but I was hoping people would pick the one they liked the best.
  6. TheSlyBear

    TheSlyBear Opinionated Walrus

    Dec 26, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The people who run siffy wouldn't know Sci Fi if it came from outer space right at them.
  7. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    Well, wrestling may not be "Sci-fi", but it is certainly "reality challenged". :p
  8. marksman

    marksman ID-10-T

    Mar 4, 2002
    The poll didn't let me select two answers but I would have chosen these two:

    There aren't enough sci-fi fans to support a channel
    Science Fiction sort of sucks

    I think science fiction fans, like conan obrien fans are big talkers and not as big listeners. That, or there are just not many of them and they are just loud and make themselves known easily while still being part of a relatively small group.

    Also people need to perhaps get more creative with the creation of science fiction content. Not everything needs to be on a spaceship or the like. How about something a bit more subtle.
  9. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    There's a ton of quality, low-to-mid rated sci-fi out there on other channels. If not even the higher profile channels can get viewers, why would something like SyFy get it?
  10. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

    Aug 2, 2003
    None of the poll options is really on point, IMHO, although the last one comes closest. SyFy became part of NBC/Universal some time ago, and it seems to me that the parent company doesn't get or care about science fiction. But lots of cable channels have lost their original focus. MTV and VH-1 are even much worse than SyFy.

    I don't see how it can be said that science fiction fans are either few or cheap. Look at the list of top-grossing movies every year, and notice how many of them are (more or less) science fiction.
  11. gastrof

    gastrof Hubcaps r in fashion

    Oct 31, 2003
    Potato and pen.
    There were enough sci-fi fans out there for USA Network to split off a whole channel from itself dedicated to old sci-fi and fantasy shows, and eventually even new productions.

    The problem is, people got into positions of power at the channel who had no appreciation for the genre and the whole nature of the channel totally changed. That's when all the horror and slasher movies (along with films like Braveheart and Cape Fear) and eventually wrestling showed up.

    Bonnie Hammer, the earliest of the dim bulbs, once said about the channel "We can't limit ourselves to the sci-fi fan. We have to widen our audience."

    Yeah. And Food Network should cover more than food and ESPN should do more than sports.


    During one press conference, she made some comment that led to one of the reporters actually saying to her "You don't actually expect us to swallow that, do you?"

    The people in charge at SyFy have no idea what the channel is for or what they're doing.

    THAT is why the channel is no longer limited to sci-fi.
  12. heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

    Jul 2, 2001
    Sarasota, FL
    I don't watch commercial channels unless it's something I really want to see and something I can't see elsewhere.

    The Sci-Fi channel just doesn't have anything to offer me.
  13. bengalfreak

    bengalfreak Active Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    If you haven't noticed, the Food Network used to be 99% cooking instruction shows. Now, they have as much cooking entertainment as instruction. Many of the new hosts aren't trained cooks at all but just big personalities that can cook, sorta. The food Network found that what had traditionally been their bread and butter, cooking instruction, was being done alot on other networks and was no longer profitable for them. The cancellation of Emeril Live would have been unheard of just a couple of years ago, but now its gone. The point is, the Food Network had to change what kind of programming they offer in order to survive. Sci-Fi felt as if they had to also. The point of running a TV channel is not to pay homage to the subject matter, it is to make money just as it is for any business enterprise.

    i don't like the Food Network or the Sy-Fy channel anymore, but i understand why they did what they did.
  14. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    I agree. "There aren't enough sci-fi fans to support a channel", for sure, given all the other sources of genre programming and other types of genre entertainment (such as video games). Also, Sci-Fi fans, as among the most likely people to be poor investments for advertisers (because they're technically-inclined enough and cynical enough to engage in wholesale commercial avoidance, either physically or mentally), "don't spend enough money to support a channel". It's even worse, because the fans tend to skew male, while a lot of what advertising works best for needs to be sold to women. That's the main reason why you see so much focus on making genre programming more accessible to women: Less about machines and explosions, and more about people, relationships, etc.

    Some of the hardcore science fiction fans I've met are among the most self-focused folks I've met. They acknowledge that they have a unique interest, but some of them don't acknowledge that their specific preference (usually a subset of a subset of the genre) holds little interest for anyone other than themselves and a limit set of others. Some of them translate the popularity of big budget blockbuster successes within the genre into advocacy for their own personal interests, when in reality the aspects that really sold the blockbuster are quite different.
  15. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    Oct 17, 2000
    But I don't think those are succeeding on the basis of science fiction fans. Those are appealing to very broad audiences.

    If everything on Syfy was as good as Star Trek (sorry, Ereth, it was very good) or Avatar or any of the other sci-fi box office hits, Syfy would probably be the most successful channel on television. But airing Ice Spiders in hope of catching the Avatar audience is just plain nuts. Science fiction fandom is very small and vocal. The really good stuff appeals to a much broader audience. There isn't very much of the really good stuff.
  16. bicker

    bicker bUU

    Nov 9, 2003
    Since you and I disagree on so much, and so deeply, I thought it was important to highlight a case where we totally agree.
  17. emandbri

    emandbri TV junkie!

    Jul 5, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    There are plenty of old sci fi stuff they could be showing but choose not to. They could even show kids stuff in the afternoons.
  18. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins...
    There's plenty of sci-fi tv and movies that SyFy could be showing but the problem is that nobody'll watch it. The SyFy execs get called a lot of names but the problem lies with us, the viewers. We like crap. If we'd watch better shows, buy the sponsor's products and make the network profitable, they'd broadcast better stuff. But we don't. I want to throw my shoe at the History Channel's lineup just about every night. The reason why it's nothing but crap, semi-reality shows now is because we prefer crap to substance.
  19. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    This. How much music is left on MTV? How about "artsie" stuff on A&E? Heck, even Discover and History have less and less of those topics. It seems to be the natrual evolution of cable channels. They start off niche, realize there aren't enough of those niche viewers and start drifting away. Seems niche only works for sports or movies...maybe comedy.

    As far as "fantasy" on a Sci Fi oriented channel, I don't think that's too big of a reach. I think it appeals to the same core viewers. Only when they changed the name, they should have used something like "Worlds Beyond" or something less specific.
  20. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey

    On the flip side, Sci Fi fans are probably the most likely to embrace new technology. That car with all the fancy gadgets, the new Home Theater system, various computer related gadgets, that sort of thing. As for having to advertise for women, how do you explain the success of the dozens of sports oriented stations? Don't they skew toward male advertising?

    I think one of the problems with Sci Fi is there aren't enough sci fi shows that either are hardcore enough to be accepted by the real buffs and the stuff that's lighter is shown on just about every other network. So in order to appeal to a more massive audience, they alienate the core group that the channel is aimed for. Read the threads here regarding "real" science fiction. Although I like Sci Fi, most of the stuff I like would NEVER be considered REAL Sci Fi because, well, THAT explosion could never happen, or the alloy used on the Mars rocket would NEVER hold up to the temperature of that planet. So they stop watching.

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