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)
    2.0%
  2. There aren't enough sci-fi fans to support a channel

    16 vote(s)
    16.3%
  3. Science Fiction sort of sucks

    6 vote(s)
    6.1%
  4. Science Fiction that is shown on Scy-Fy sucks

    22 vote(s)
    22.4%
  5. What??? I thought World Wrestling and killing dragons was science fiction.

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  6. The people who run Scy-Fy will sell out to anyone with some money

    48 vote(s)
    49.0%
  1. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    You can't really blame this on NBC/Universal for a very simple fact, it's not their fault.

    You've almost got it figured out. And ESPN is an outlier to the issue at hand. They don't have to write anything. There is a new game or contest everyday and many days have more then they can fit onto one channel. They won't have the same issue at an entertainment channel because they will never have to worry about the same problem.

    And oddly enough, ESPN has narrowed their scope. Entertainment and Sports Network. Now they are just SPN but they never bothered to remove the E.

    History is a limited subject. It's audience isn't limited, but it can only cover what has already happened. It spawned off of Discovery Channel at the wrong time. Discovery's biggest hit show is "Wings". Planes have only been around for 100 years and it doesn't take a long time before you have to repeat yourself and talk again about the reason that the SR71 has cones in front of it's 2 jet engines.

    You're closer then gastrof.

    It's owners are the people who bought shares on the stock market. They don't actually get to make decisions. They just get to vote on who fills the jobs that make the decisions. And they just look at one number, the stock price. If it doesn't go up, kick the bums (Chief anything or Director of anything) out and find someone else. And once you have captured all of an audience, be it SciFi fans, music fans, history buffs, foodies, or handypersons, your done growing. You can only make more money by either increasing the number of commercials (which drops the viewership and therefore the amount of money advertisers will pay) or increasing the price of commercials (which causes advertisers to stop buying airtime). So you have to slip in a different type of programming to draw different viewers which draws different advertisers affording you the ability to increase your prices without losing advertisers.

    So the problem boils down to what ultimately kills all public corporations, the requirement of their true owners to make more money they they did last month.

    And all of this eventually leads to:
    They don't care if they lose core viewers. That happens all the time. They will lose a few and keep more plus add even more that their new programming attracts. That equals growth.

    He's just someone who views businesses from the prospective of the shareholder.

    And the ultimate answer is across the pond. The BBC differs from the PBS network by one little important difference. They are fully funded by the British government from the proceeds of a license fee on TVs. If you own a TV in the British Isles, you have to make a payment each year to the government who passes the money straight to the BBC. They have no shareholders or even advertisers to keep happy. They just have to produce shows to fill their broadcast hours. As long as they don't completely piss off large groups of people, they are doing a fine job. Ratings don't matter if you don't have advertising that you have to price. Growth doesn't matter if your ownership isn't greedy. Just don't screw up and Bob's your uncle.

    That is what niche channels need to do. Not worry about growth. Not worry about paying a dividend every 3 months. Just produce programming that doesn't piss off too big of a chunk of your viewership.
     
  2. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    I never traveled the country to visit SF conventions, but I did work security a SF conventions at times, and from what I could tell, a lot of the folks who went to the expensive hotels to attend the conventions didn't actually stay in the hotel, or stayed six to a room at the hotel; and didn't actually spend big bucks in the bar and restaurant, but rather visited a local package store and drank the booze in their hotel room. Economizing is an ethic, in our society, and should be, but you also have to respect that economizing makes you less valuable as a customer.

    And before anyone asks: Yes, both Gary Gygax and Jimmy Doohan could drink me under the table, and yes, Adam West was too tall to fit comfortably in the little red sports-car I had back then.
     
  3. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    They get to make the decision whether to buy the shares, and whether to sell the shares. This not only affects the decisions, but in many respects, concern about how decisions will prompt owners to make one of these two decisions, itself, is what drives the decisions.

    An inescapable reflection of our society. Folks don't have to like it, but that's the way things are.

    Why would you use the word "kill". It doesn't "kill" the corporation -- it make the corporation less focused on placating your personal needs. That's all. Don't overstate the situation.

    Exactly. That's what is supposed to happen. That's a good result, from the standpoint of the objectives of the enterprise.
     
  4. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    But that isn't a 1to1 relationship. It's a bit like herding sheep. You can try to point them in a certain direction but some just won't go that way and others will take the long route to where you want to be. The only decision the owner can make to to not be an owner.

    That the way things are in public corporations. Casinos used to be privately owned in Nevada. Corporate ownership was actually outlawed. If you talk to people you will get many responses along the lines of "I liked it better when the mob ran this town." Many times not in so many words but they refer always to the time period when it was mob operated.
    No, it will kill the corporation. The corporation being "less focused on placating your personal needs." is a dying corporation. You cannot indefinitely sustain growth. At some point you will already have all of the customers in existence. You growth goes flat, shareholders sell out, you stop being able to afford to do business and your customers leave. The corporation is dead.

    If the corporation expands it's reach, then it will find new customers which will support new growth and it will again "thrive". But it's original customers are forgotten in the quest for new markets and the old markets die off. Another corporation looking for new customers will glance over, see a weakness and expand into the old market and steal customers. This will cause their old markets to die off. And a corporation looking for new customers will glance over, see a weekness and expand into the old market and steal customers. Over and over and over again.

    That's a good result from the standpoint of the objectives of the shareholders, not the enterprise. Two totally different entities. Growth is all upside to shareholders,more income. Growth is a pain to the enterprise. They have to invest in new marketing to their new markets. They have to add staff to handle the new markets. They have to balance the needs of the new markets to the old markets.

    And I forgot this point from my previous post. SyFy won't change it's name to something totally different. Ever. They have mindshare with SciFi. If they were to change their name to "Bonnie's Slum" then when a viewer is talking about this show they saw on the "Bonnie's Slum" channel, the others in the conversation won't know what the heck she is talking about. If the viewer says they saw it on "SyFy" then the others probably know what she is talking about.
     
  5. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Yet the sheep do eventually get where they need to be gotten to.

    People say an awful lot of stupid things, sometimes -- things said in the heat of the passion of reaction to a specific thing, in the absence of consideration of the big picture, and all the aspects of the situation.

    Bull. No one consumer is so important that every corporation must drive itself towards ensuring that that consumer's personal needs are satisfied. And before you try to back-pedal, that is exactly what you claimed, because it is exactly the opposite of the assertion of mine that you objected to. If you go into anything with the idea that your personal needs are what is going to be important to anyone but you, then you're setting yourself up for a never-ending death-spiral of disappointment and dissatisfaction. And you will have done it to yourself. Don't blame others -- don't blame corporations -- for your failure to live in the real world.

    Mass-market. Look it up. The word "mass" is there for a reason.
     
  6. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    Not always. Sometime they get slaughtered for wandering to far off track. The replacement sheep are usually well trained. And then the owners start talking about the corp "jumping the shark" or "having lost it's way".

    When you are in chitchat mode, ask people about Vegas. There will be a significant trend who think the current incarnation is cold and it was better before.

    You're going to have to point out the assertion 'cause I don't see one that says what you say it does. Nor do I see where I said that one specific consumer is so important.

    What I do see is that corporations need to stop being so worried about growth and stock prices. Service the market you started with and you'll make money. If you never grow out of that market, what exactly is the harm? You are still making money.

    Science Fiction isn't mass market or they would just call it "Fiction". If you start a network called "Sci-Fi" that caters to those that like Science Fiction, don't wander off to find the next big reality show craze because it makes more money. Start a new network and put it there. You'll find fewer death threats in your morning mail.
     
  7. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    Indeed. I think you were just blowing smoke.

    Thanks for back-pedaling.

    Then you simply don't understand business.

    Incorrect. There are no such guarantees.

    That's ridiculous. If it wasn't mass-market, then there would be no point in broadcasting science fiction.

    GE is in business to make profit.
     
  8. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    An excellent way to make your point, ignore questions raised by the other side.

    I was definitely imprecise here. I should have said, if you are currently making money, service your market and you will continue to make money, even without growth.

    Well there's your problem right there. A cable channel is not broadcasting. NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC broadcast. The Weather Channel, Discovery, and Speed narrowcast. MTV, CMT, SyFy, and TruTV used to narrowcast but now seem to think they can broadcast. Notice how each of them no longer broadcast what they used to make money with. Notice how often each is mentioned by a comedian as a punchline or joke setup.


    GE can start another network. They do not need to cannibalize an existing network for their growth.
     
  9. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    So you don't even know English.

    Your comments are ridiculous. Literally.



    If you think it is a good idea to "narrow" cast on a cable broadcast network, then start your own.
     
  10. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    Ya, whatever.

    NBC=CNN=MTV=SyFy.

    Got it.

    You win.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    So all you were doing was trolling, never really caring about the reality of business. Okay, thanks for clearing that up.
     
  12. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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    Thanks for living up to your name.
     
  13. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    This isn't a matter of living up to a name (which, by the way, is a family name). This is a matter of the actual definition of things: Cable networks broadcast. They don't "narrow-cast" like you claimed. And it was the same with what you said before, trying to defend your attacks on the way business actually works.

    You were spreading misinformation that could confuse casual readers, in a vain attempt to make a favored point, which really had no strong foundation. Why not just let it go, instead of belaboring the point, essentially demanding that I explain why you made such a fool of yourself?
     
  14. MarkofT

    MarkofT ****

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  15. bicker

    bicker bUU

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    News is a niche interest? Sports is a niche interest? Okay, now you've made it very clear either that you don't understand English, or that you're being totally ridiculous.
     
  16. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    You two still arguing?
     
  17. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Heh. For me, this thread goes from 61 to 70 to 72 to 76. It keeps showing up in the New Posts list, but there are hardly ever any new posts. :D
     
  18. retrodog

    retrodog King Button Pusher

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    At the gun...
    But strangely enough, you didn't follow through on your logic and figure out that it doesn't apply to the theory about them being cheap bastards. :D

    While sci-fi fans might have money and some of them might very well spend some of it at times, these times are rare in nature and don't tie in to anything that can be regularly advertised with commercials to increase the flow of money. Not at the levels or normal people anyway. Although... you'd think sci-fi fans would be great customers of fast food places. :D
     
  19. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh. TCF Club

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    All SyFy needs to do is to develop a show with a poofy haired, vampire superhero who travels the galaxy in a cool spaceship and has a half naked female sidekick with big boobs and a black belt in karate. Throw in some time travel and that'd make everybody happy.
     
  20. Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

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    Of course, the whole series would have to be set inside the spaceship, so they could keep it to a reasonable (i.e., dirt-cheap) budget...

    Maybe do a Very Special Episode once a season where they actually leave the ship and roam Planet Vancouver.
     

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