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 resonates with audiences.

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, particularly Thursday and Sunday nights.

Mondays are now a marquee night, with original series headlining nearly 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.

NOVEMBER PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

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

HH

M18-49

A25-54

Monday 8-11pm

 -18%

    -26%

   -26%

Tuesday 8-11pm

  4%

     -22%

    11%

Wednesday 8-11pm

  -15%

    -24%

     -10%

Thursday 8-11pm

  -7%

     -25%

    -12%

Friday 8-11pm

  -2%

    -21%

    -9%

Saturday 8-11pm

 -30%

    -15%

   -15%

Sunday 8-11pm

 0%

    23%

   17%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

  -10%

    -14%

     -7%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

NOVEMBER 2012: Not a great month for Syfy, but not an awful month either, as some programs and nights edged ahead while others took a tumble. The bottom line primetime average showed about a 10% loss on households and adults.

As always, there were a lot of programs running through the Syfy line-up. But Monday nights were on hold this month as LOST GIRL moved out and movies moved in. The theatricals weren’t focused on any one genre or demo, and a viewer tuning in to Syfy might have found anything from GI Joe to Shutter Island to Narnia, depending on the week. In the end, not many viewers did tune in, and ratings took the biggest across-the-board loss of the week.

On Tuesdays game show TOTAL BLACKOUT was back for a second season. In the first two weeks it got nice lead-ins from top-rated FACE OFF and a SUPERSMACKDOWN LIVE special, giving the program large male and female sampling opportunities. In the next two weeks it was left to its own devices in a two and a half hour stack and it floundered. Audience size fell in half on households and some demos.  VIRAL VIDEO SHOWDOWN followed BLACKOUT for three weeks, but it was the lowest rated program on the line-up, and was gone by the fourth week. Another failed attempt at merging web culture and linear television. On the bright side, Tuesday drew the youngest audience of the week, a full 10 years younger than the primetime average.

Wednesday is once again home to the long-standing GHOST HUNTERS franchise. Ratings are off by 17% among core women 25-54 vs. last month, but do show improvement vs. last year. The program has been fading, but it remains one of Syfy’s most dependable draws with women. It is also a strong vehicle for introducing new fare – FACE OFF was launched on the back of GHOST HUNTERS. This month DEALS FROM THE DARKSIDE was tested out in the 10 and 10:30 slots. The docu-reality show follows a collector of dark and tragic antiques.

Thursday’s movie line-up failed to bring in big audiences again, even with a Bond special on Thanksgiving. In fact, movies didn’t do a lot for the ratings on Saturday or Sunday either.

Friday remains the best-rated night of the week. Even with slipping ratings for WWE, the night pulls the most men, doubling the primetime average. HAVEN finished up its season strong this November and will be back for more next year.

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