Jess's Take: The SyFy Ratings Decline Quotient

Hey folks, this is Jessica. Welcome to another installment of Jess's Take. While investigating our newest Renew/Cancel competitor, the TV Predictor, I noticed something very strange. On the SyFy network scorecard, every SyFy scripted show currently airing has the prediction of likely to be canceled. Yep, that would be 12 Monkeys, Wynonna Earp, and Hunters. Here's another investigative post dedicated to SyFy and the genre shows on all networks.

Source: TVSeriesFinale
1. The Current Network Standings...
This screenshot is taken from TVSeriesFinale, and it's easy to see why ratings keep on going lower and lower. Dominion was canceled after two seasons after averaging a 0.25, while 12 Monkeys was renewed with practically the same ratings. Now that 12 Monkeys is in season 2, the ratings are much lower according to the current standings. Defiance was canceled with a 0.25 average, while Killjoys and Dark Matter were renewed with slightly lower ratings. It's getting harder to see a cable network's standards regarding the renewal and cancelation of shows.

2. There Has Been a Management Change
In February, Variety reported that NBCUniversal moved former SyFy president Dave Howe to a new position with NBCUniversal, while Chris McCumber, USA Network president, took on control of SyFy. Apparently, this is caused by a shift in viewing habits. Below is a quote from the Variety article:

"The significance of the moves reinforce the magnitude of the changes and business challenges that NBCU and other established cable groups are facing. Declining linear ratings means falling advertising revenue. Cord-cutting and cord-shaving are real and growing threats to the affiliate revenue that has kept successful cable channels rolling in the dual-revenue stream dough for so many years. The move of viewing to an on-demand world makes it harder to bring people to the set and more important that every show on a network’s air is its own cottage industry. And with the growth of global multiplatform distribution, every major cable network is upping its investment on in-house production that can be licensed for big bucks around the world."
Looks like streaming strikes again! 

3. Are Genre Shows Becoming a Thing of the Past?
It's too early to say. But a 2014 Blastr article linked a to a year to year infographic from the 2013-14 season that shows the growth and declines of broadcast television.
Alas, the Vulture infographic.

In the 2013-14 season, Supernatural was the only genre show to post a ratings increase, with a year to year growth of 27%. When only one show in the Sci-Fi/Horror/Fantasy genre posts a year to year growth, that is bad. Now it just may have worked onto SyFy. 

My verdict: With streaming becoming part of the present, cable networks have to adapt to changing environments. Pretty soon, Live+35 and Live+365 ratings will become a thing of television future for PR purposes, while advertisers would need to start asking for C3 and C7 numbers to be released. 

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