Syfy Analysis - Broadcasting & Cable

Syfy Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Syfy programs its line-up differently every night of the week, with no strips or similar fare to carry viewers across the week. The schedule is well-rounded – unlike other nets, Syfy does not rely too heavily upon a single program to boost the numbers. Syfy has the resources to use the volume approach to finding the next new hit, pushing a lot of programming through the line-up to see what sticks.

Most nights have seen dramatic change in the past year, but the schedule has begun to settle down. There is still room on the schedule for more original programming.

Mondays are now a marquee night, with original series headlining in all seasons. Tuesdays were the night under construction for the past year, and the night seems to have found its footing with paranormal and competition programming. On Wednesdays the once powerful GHOST HUNTERS franchise is fading and newer reality programs are moving in. WWE SMACKDOWN continues to revitalize Friday nights, bringing a lot of male viewers to the net and a solid male lead-in for original series at 10PM.

In addition to acquiring ready-made series, Syfy has been giving its own series quick renewal orders and short production cycles, allowing popular programs to make a quick return to the schedule. This helps keep viewers in the habit of tuning to Syfy.

AUGUST PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Plus Same Day Primetime Ratings Comparison / August 2012 vs. August 2011  (% Change)

HH

M18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

 -37%

    -37%

   -33%

Tuesday 8-11pm

  26%

    44%

    64%

Wednesday 8-11pm

   2%

   -11%

     14%

Thursday 8-11pm

 -11%

   -26%

    -10%

Friday 8-11pm

 -3%

    -8%

     0%

Saturday 8-11pm

-27%

   -28%

    -17%

Sunday 8-11pm

 -3%

    18%

     15%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

  -12%

    -13%

    -2%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

AUGUST 2012: SYFY lost a few good men this month (-10% vs. last year and -5% vs. last month), while it was flat to slightly up on women. In this tricky Olympics month audiences tuned into Syfy’s strongest programming but did not stick around for the weaker fare.

The so-called “Powerful Mondays” lost some more strength this month. Movies now lead into the night’s signature series WAREHOUSE 13 and ALPHAS. WAREHOUSE remains the top rated series on the line-up on households and most demos. In an interesting twist the show lost one-fifth of its male viewers, but made up for the loss with women, particularly older women. The show’s strongest demo is now women 25-54. Last year it was men 18-49 and men 25-54. The second season of ALPHAS lost both men and women, about 40% of them from last year, pushing the program down below the primetime average.

The highlight of Tuesday night was undoubtedly the return of FACE-OFF at the end of the month. The show clearly resonated with young women. The rest of the Tuesday night fare, particularly HAUNTED HIGHWAY and COLLECTION INTERVENTION did not do so well, hitting the bottom of the rankers. DESTINATION TRUTH pulled respectable numbers for its premiere but the 8PM encore didn’t hold. Still, Tuesday is a new night of programming for the net, and while numbers are sub-par, they are better than they were when various movies were airing. Also, the sheer volume of programs coming in and out is sure to generate at least a couple of hits among the misses.

Wednesday was without any GHOST HUNTERS again this month, but the night remains one of the better-rated among younger women, as it pulled 17% better ratings vs. last year and 40% better ratings than last month. SCHOOL SPIRITS came to a merciful end, never having caught on with any demo group. HAUNTED COLLECTOR and PARANORMAL WITNESS proved to be strong companions and pulled the night up to its impressive heights.

Thursdays remain an unpredictable mix of movies and encores, with predictably lower ratings.

Wrestling and LOST GIRL are paired on Fridays this month.  While LOST GIRL is missed on Monday nights, it is faring well with its WWE pairing.

Syfy original movies failed to shine this month. While household ratings were strong, demo delivery was below average, and Saturday nights as a whole dropped vs. both last month and last year. Sunday movies showed improvements, but Syfy’s viewers prefer its unique blend of original programming to most theatricals, even the blockbuster titles.

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