SYFY channel had its biggest year ever. It moved from 9th place in cable station rankings to 6th and saw it’s demographics with viewers rise and widen. For example Warehouse 13 this year had the most women viewers ever for a Syfy show. It also was the best Syfy show ever with 3.9 million viewers. Eureka a personal favorite brought in 3.15, Ghost Hunters had 3.05 million , Destination Truth’s had 2.2 million, Stargate Universe’s first 8 episodes had 2.64 million, and Sanctuary had 2.16 million total viewers.
This success is in part of the strategy of David Howe who took over back in 2008, and wanted to expand the networks markets. It was also under his reign that you saw the Sci Fi Channel logo change to SYFY. This is mostly if not all (in my opinion) because Sci Fi is a generic term not really something you can stamp a trademark on and sell. The official spin from the network was much different then my opinion. Officially they wanted to get a name that broaden their show menu and not get locked into just sci fi. I say sci fi covers all those shows anyway so I am not fully buying that explanation. But that is the way they are packaging the new logo which in turn caused some of the die hards of the Sci Fi channel to take arms. Well not so dramatic and radical but it made some upset. There is even an Open Letter to Syfy / Scifi Channel I stumbled on the web at Tribble Ad agency web site. That oppose the re-marketing of the name and the direction of the network has taken.
Some excerts from the letter are as follows
We as Scifi fans like the name Scifi, not Syfy. We never thought this was catchy, cool or anything of the sort. In fact check your server logs when you have a chance, and see what most people type in
Many Science Fiction fans believe in science fiction, best explained by Isaac Asimov.
Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
Personally I can not blame SYFY for its direction. They have not wandered to far from the sci fi – horror – fantasy base that made it. I agree with those that have said why wrestling on the channel. Then again I bet it is a huge draw for younger viewers. It may be away to draw those viewers to the channel and then get them hooked on some of the local programming. Which then maybe a good thing because the more viewers there are the better the chances are that SYFY or whatever name you like to call it will be around a long time. As long as it is there there is always time to play with the programming to make everyone happy. Which I have some ideas on.
And here they are. I do miss some of the older shows that SYFY use to run. And I bet many of the viewers griping might feel the same. Babylon 5 and the old Battlestar Galactica series to mention some out of a huge list I remembered seeing. Most viewers do understand the need for new material and the need to expand. But at the same time in they may miss the nostalgia the network use to bring. That is the general idea I get from some I have conversed with on the subject. Maybe there should be a happy medium by taken the hours before the prime time line up (you know those dead slots in the programming) and show the older shows on regular time frame. Also I do miss some of those old sci fi classic movies that they use to play on the weekends . I am sure it would not hurt to have a sort of retro sci fi theater of some sorts on Saturdays at noon. It would be great to see some old Godzilla, or some of those old Universal monster flicks, and all the other great films that were made. The list as you may know goes on and on and the well is deep. Just my 2 cents and an a suggestion to the program director at SYFY.
Well what ever we think SYFY is doing something right and is becoming a household name. Mainly because of the programming and the audience it is drawing.
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