Syfy is getting into the holiday spirit.
Following in the footsteps of more family-oriented competitors such as ABC Family and Hallmark Channel, which do their biggest ratings and generate the lion’s share of their revenue in the fourth quarter, Syfy is inaugurating a Countdown to Christmas the week of Dec. 6.
Kay Jewelers has signed on as the exclusive on-air and online sponsor of Countdown to Christmas, which will include new holiday themed episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13, two Syfy series that normally air in the summer.
“As a brand and a channel we think we have a unique twist on what traditional holiday programming can be,” said Blake Callaway, senior VP for brand and strategic marketing at Syfy. “It will be fun for our audience to get to see new episodes of some of their favorite shows in December versus waiting for July for them to come back. That’s our Christmas treat to them.”
Kay has sponsored fourth-quarter mini-series on Syfy before as part of its pre-holiday marketing efforts. Financial terms were not disclosed but as part of its Countdown sponsorship, Kay will be presenting vignettes announcing the Countdown. Kay will also present vignettes featuring Colin Ferguson of Eureka and Allison Scagliotti of Warehouse 13 talking about their favorite holiday memories.
Kay messages will also be attached to the holiday programming when viewers watch on VOD.
In addition to Eureka and Warehouse 13, the Countdown to Christmas week will feature original holiday themed episodes of Ghost Hunters, Hollywood Treasure, Fact or Faked, Paranormal Files and WWE Friday Night SmackDown. The network will conclude the week with a Christmastime disaster movie Ice Quake.
Syfy will continue to air special programming in December until the end of the year, when it will run its 16th annual Twilight Zone New Year’s Festival. The network has scheduled marathons of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International on Dec. 22; a marathon of Land of the Dinosaurs movies on Dec. 23, a marathon of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Dec. 24, a marathon of Sea Creatures movies on Dec. 25 and a marathon of Werewolf movies on Dec. 26.
The annual Twilight Zone marathon will start at 8 a.m. ET on Dec. 31 and will be interrupted by a Christmas edition of SmackDown at 8 p.m. After SmackDown, the episodes of the Rod Serling classic will resume.
Syfy will also be using the programming stunt as a way to build promotion for two new series coming in January, Being Human and Face Off.
During the third quarter, Syfy, part of NBC Universal was the 14th-ranked cable network among total viewers. Average viewership shrunk 7% during the quarter. Among adults 25-54 Syfy was the 10th ranked network despite a 12% drop off in the demo.