1. Our web server is getting tweaked this week and as a result some links are behaving strange. We're working on getting everything back to normal ASAP.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Alien Soup is a free community for fans of science-fiction, horror, & fantasy! Everybody is welcome here.

Sci-Fi Channel Destroying Definition Of Science Fiction

Discussion in 'Television & Web Series' started by Tom, May 19, 2008.

Tags:
  1. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Have you ever flipped over to the Sci Fi Channel and wondered why it was showing wrestling, or a series about superheroes' naughty wives, or a movie like Field of Dreams or Indiana Jones? It's because this sort of brand dilution is the only way to reach women and thus grow ratings, Sci Fi President Dave Howe believes. He told the Times, "It’s not just aliens, spaceships and the future... It’s about asking that simple question, 'What if?'" His NBC cylon overlord Bonnie Hammer found a more menacing way to say the same thing: "We had to broaden the channel to change the misconceptions of the genre... that it was for geeky young men."
    Amazing, then, that I know two women once far more into Sci Fi Channel mainstay Battlestar Gallactica than I, at least until the plot took a turn for the sappy, despite the fact that it features both spaceships and the future. And my favorite Sci Fi blog is even edited by a woman.
    But of course the channel can always count on those sorts of hard-core fans tuning in, even if the name is disastrously changed to "the Imagination Channel" as once discussed, according to the Times article. In the meantime network executives are trying to build a global mega-brand, and to them the "Sci Fi" in "Sci Fi Channel" is best viewed, as Howe puts it, as merely an advantageous "signpost" amid "the fragmentation of media," albeit one with a "downside" — the downside being that the channel taken at face value, and believed to be sci fi in nature, when in fact it wants to be So Much More, and thus so much less.
     
  2. recall

    recall Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    I find "Ghost Hunters" fairly lame as well. On par with wrestling as to integrity.
    The producers/directors/owners can use all the syntax/semantics and vague catch all excuses (PC "buzz" phrases) they believe necessary (as politicians do), to rationalize "commercial" decisions as... for the greater good.
    They're only fooling themselves..if even.
    The ones who benefit are the ones they see in the mirror...not the viewer.
    Your right about a name change. Perhaps two, or three different channels could share the same location (on your dial) in 8 hour shifts, since it appears one cannot fill the requirements of todays "triple-dipping" money requirements, to stay on the air.
    Saying it's for the viewers good is rubbish.
    It drives old hard core fans away, and gives haters more reasons.
     
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Truth be told... I haven't watched the channel for quite some time now.

    Since we switched to DirecTV and I'm now able to catch Dr. Who & Torchwood on BBC America I haven't watched the Sci-Fi channel since. When they started airing wrestling on it (wrestling?!) is when I really stopped watching. Now I catch up on stuff like Galactica either on DVD or the net and a few other shows as well but that is about it.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    I find myself on the scifi channel less and less as time passes. The movies are cookie-cutter felgercarb and the show don't interest me.
    I spend much of my TV time watching
    National Geographic Channel
    Discovery Science and
    The History Channel

    I only hit the scifi channel when I am jonesing for some scifi felgercarb. Some of the original movies have great potential but I always have a 'feel' of being ripped off after I have watched them.

    They should be ashamed of themselves!
     
  5. Webster

    Webster The Red Tarheel

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Morganton, NC
    (y)

    My sentiments exactly........someone ought to either rebuild/reinvent SciFi Channel from top to bottom or just start all over again, period. :mad: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's a different genre, but have you checked out the Chiller channel (assuming you like horror stuff)? So far they seem to be sticking to the actual topic instead of being NBC's dumping ground like SFC is turning into.
     
  7. Webster

    Webster The Red Tarheel

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Morganton, NC

    Checked out their website earlier this evening; seems like a pretty interesting channel. Shame it's only on Dish Network and DirecTV at present(note to self.....remember to talk to local cable provider about possibly adding this channel to the digital basic package...... ;) ...........)
     
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Whoops, sorry, didn't realize it was a sat' dish only network. :o Before we got DirecTV we only had analog cable so I don't have a reference as to what channels are commonly carried by the digital cable providers.

    If nothing else, being able to record & watch all of Kolchak is worth it to me. :D
     
  9. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
  10. BirdOPrey5

    BirdOPrey5 Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Sci Fi is one of the biggest jokes on cable... 'The Imagination Channel' :rolleyes: Probably second only two the Weather channel in terms of failing to meet it's original goals.
     
  11. Webster

    Webster The Red Tarheel

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Morganton, NC

    Agreed.......worst channels on cable(in no particular order) are Sci-Fi Channel, Weather Channel and MTV.
     
  12. Mojo

    Mojo Rocket Ranger

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    But every cable network is doing the same thing, right? MTV doesn't show music videos. The History Channel has a series about ice truckers. And just try catching a movie on HBO these days.

    What's sad about the Sci-Fi channel is that airing wrestling probably makes them 3X the revenue of anything else they could put on.

    :(
     
  13. jeremy2728

    jeremy2728 Scout

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Location:
    phoenix
    sci-fi is failing in the same manner as g4tv. in the quest for more money they are dumbing down content for people who wouldn't switch to those channels to even find out what is on. so while they alienate their core viewers they fail to gain real attention from those they are trying to replace us with. If a girl doesn't like science fiction she is not going to watch the sci-fi channel, hell its probably been programmed off her favorite channels list so she wouldn't even know if they started playing dr. quinn medicine woman just for her.
     
  14. bicker

    bicker Ensign

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
    Science Fiction is the Color of the Paint, not the Paint, nor the Wall

    I'll start out by making it clear that I disagree with most of what folks have said in this thread, but I think we can still be friends. :)

    Let me be clear: Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and my main interest is simply making sure that folks recognize and acknowledge that reasonable people disagree on matters like this, and no one is "right" or "wrong" -- rather, in this context, it is just a matter of who's personal perspective on this issue is satisfied versus not satisfied.

    I consider myself lucky that the people who run television networks tend to present things seemingly custom-tailored to my personal preferences regarding genre-oriented programming, and I do feel bad for all those folks who want (or worse, for some reason expect) networks to cater to their more hardcore definitions related to the genre. I wish the reality of economics provided a path for everyone's preferences to be catered with the same measure of equality that we all expect with regard to personal liberties. However, entertainment is not anything like personal liberties, in context or in importance, and unfortunately the reality is that not everyone's preferences are catered to equally, with regard to anything in the realm of recreation and entertainment, not just television.

    I think folks need to be especially careful about talking about what a network's intention or objective is. Since 1992, the network has been a property of a large for-profit corporation -- first joint ownership, Universal with Paramount; then later just Universal. As such, by law (due to the charters of the corporations involved), the overriding consideration for the network has always been what's best for the long-term financial interests of its owners. The science fiction aspect of the network was just "the color of the paint" -- not the paint, itself, or the walls, etc.

    However, beyond that, as I alluded to before, I'm a fan of science fiction and fantasy, even if my preferences in this regard do not satisfy someone else's definitions and criteria. I'm sure you can understand, if you were me, that you would not be denied. I exist. My wife exists, and she shares my perspective -- if anything, she prefers her science fiction even less fixated on the science, as compared to I. We simply prefer dramas in contexts other than the everyday world. Other folks can call it what they wish. As you've seen above, I call it "genre-oriented programming". However, it is part of -- and perhaps the most popular portion of -- that programming which a "science fiction channel" would present.

    Furthermore, when we sit down to watch television, in the end, we watch programs not networks. The fact that the network broadcasts infomercials overnight affects us not one bit. The fact that the network broadcasts some hardcore science fiction, that we find mind-numbingly tedious and would never watch -- affects us not one bit (neither positively nor negatively). The fact that the network broadcasts wrestling or fashion or gardening -- affects us not one bit. Because all we watch is Eureka and Sanctuary and Warehouse 13 and whatever Stargate series is currently running, etc. The fact that they present other stuff doesn't take anything away from the great programming, the programming that we enjoy so much, that they do present.

    Also do keep in mind that the industry is getting a lot more challenging. Cable television is facing competition from video discs, Internet video, and a whole host of new distractions we have taken to in great numbers, in recent years. Beyond that, there are serious concerns about the declining value of viewership. More and more of us are skipping the commercials that actually pay for the content was enjoy. (Guilty as charged!) And more of us are simply no longer allowing ourselves to be influenced by commercials we do watch. (I'm guilty of that as well.) The more our own actions and proclivities as viewers reduce the value our viewership affords networks, the more those networks need to exploit every possible means available to them to bolster their revenues against the inevitable impact of that decline in the value of viewership.

    So while no one can tell you to be "happy" or even "satisfied" with what Syfy is presenting, I think it is critically important for folks to accept that there are people who are satisfied and even happy with what Syfy is presenting, and with Syfy's overall direction, and grant that it is very possible (even probable) that those satisfied people exist in such numbers that the network is well-advised to keep on their current track. Frustrating, disappointing, even maddening? Perhaps. I can surely respect those feelings. But that doesn't make what they're doing anything close to objectively "wrong" or "bad".
     
  15. bicker

    bicker Ensign

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
  16. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    I haven't watched the new syfy channel. I get all the scifi I need online.
    What irks me is when the channel says scifi but it puts on OTHER genres and unrelated "real-life" stuff and sports.
    I would like to see commercials with a scifi slant, I would like to see profile shows on the masters of scifi writing. I would love to see Original movies that don't insult my intelligence. (Liking science fiction holds a small requirement of having the ability to comprehend the science involved)
    I would like to see scifi convention shows, Science fiction history shows and scifi movie blocks.
     
  17. astonwest

    astonwest Writing Fool Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Location:
    Kansas
    Re: Science Fiction is the Color of the Paint, not the Paint, nor the Wall

    Considering that Warehouse 13 actually sounds somewhat science fiction-esque, I'm not sure that achieving 3.7 million viewers was worth claiming victory on, even if it was the highest ranking out of any of their shows.

    Considering that the Sarah Connor Chronicles finale reached 3.6 million viewers...why SyFy hasn't reached out to pick that one up to run with it, I can't understand...a semi-established audience that already rivals their best show?

    Or perhaps a SyFy special presentation, with a second Firefly movie...being that Firefly whipped up on the Nielsen ratings of BSG. I mean, Firefly (the series) was poorly promoted by its network, and still brought in roughly 5 million viewers for its series premiere alone (note one of the last comments where someone hints that those type of numbers would be considered "dumpable" by Fox...)

    So, though it may be an improvement as far as SyFy is concerned, 3.7 million for its most-watched show is still pretty poor as far as viewership.
     
  18. bicker

    bicker Ensign

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
    Re: Science Fiction is the Color of the Paint, not the Paint, nor the Wall

    You'd be mistaken... it actually is quite a great number of viewers for a cable television program on a network of that sort.

    Sarah Connor Chronicles was on broadcast television, not cable television.

    Again, you're mistaken. It's a great number. I understand you might be new to cable television, but that is what success looks like.
     
  19. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Operating Metrics (as of March 2009) ​
    Basic Video Customers 1
    63.5 M
    Digital Video Customers 1
    41.0 M
    High Speed Internet Customers (includes commercial) 1
    40.2M
    Cable Phone Customers 1
    20.5 M

    Availability (as of March 2009) ​
    Homes Passed by Cable Video Service 2
    125.1 M
    Basic Cable Video Penetration of Homes Passed
    50.8%
    Digital Penetration (% of Basic Video Customers)
    64.6%
    Homes Passed by Cable High-Speed Internet Service 3
    120.3M
    Cable High Speed Internet Availability to U.S. Households 1
    92%
    Homes Passed by Cable HDTV Service
    100+ M

    Investments in Infrastructure ​
    Cable Industry Capital Expenditures (year ended Dec. 2008)
    $14.6 B
    Cable Industry Capital Expenditures (1996 - 2008) 1
    $146.8 B

    Value ​
    Price Per Viewing Hour (of digital video service) (2007)
    33.0¢
    Primetime Emmy Awards Won by Cable (2008)
    55%





    Other Industry Data ​
    Cable Industry Revenue (year ended December 2008) 1
    $86.3 B
    Cable Advertising Revenue (year ended December 2008)
    $26.6 B
    Number of Cable Operating Companies 4
    1,212
    National Cable Programming Networks (2006)
    565
    Number of Cable Systems (March 2009)
    7,791
    Schools Served by Cable in the Classroom (November 2007)
    81,775


    Franchise Fees Paid by Cable Operators (in 2008 - est.)
    $3.0 B
    Non-Cable Multichannel Video Service Customers (Dec. 2008)
    35.1 M
    Top 25 MSOs 5

    Top 20 Cable Programming Networks



    1 SNL Kagan
    2 SNL Kagan, excludes estimate of overlap coming from cable overbuilders
    3 Total housing units passed figures have been adjusted to avoid double counting of estimated housing units passed by both incumbent cable operators and overbuilders.
    4 Nielsen Focus
    5 As of December 2008
     
  20. bicker

    bicker Ensign

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    Burlington, MA
    August 5:
    August 20:
    I was really surprised that Warehouse 13 managed to beat both veteran dramas Saving Grace and Rescue Me. (The others aren't surprising, since I think they suck. :))
     

Share This Page