Over at GateWorld, Darren Sumner writes an open letter to Syfy explaining how “Wrestling is Killing Science Fiction”. (hat tip to reader Lionel for the heads up).
Do click through if you’re interested in more detail, but my Cliff Notes version is “Friday is best for scripted SciFi, move Smackdown to another night please”. He notes that wrestling is likely a big ad revenue generator for Syfy, but I would point out that it’s not clear at all if wrestling is a big profit generator because the business model under which Syfy airs Smackdown is not public information.
Darren’s main complaint will sound similar to lots of fans of previously niche focused cable channels who’ve turned less niche in search of the better ratings available to more general interest programming; History goes from “The Hitler Channel” to “The Pawning and Picking Channel”; Bravo goes from arts to “Housewives”, etc.
Problem for those fans wishing for the “good” old days is that the ratings for those channels are far better set free from those niches. Attracting some of the general interest audience that continues to be bled from broadcast primetime is just too lucrative.
There could be another wave of new or repurposed channels trying to pick up those niches, BBC America seems headed more SciFi now than Syfy, or those niches may have to wait for the new distribution options ushered in by online streaming services like Netflix and others. Your guess is as good as mine.
What do you think? Is wrestling killing Science Fiction on Syfy?