It's always cheaper to purchase the broadcast rights in a market than it is to produce the show yourself. Let someone else pour the money into development and production, and you just pay a nice little per episode fee.
This seems to be Syfy's current strategy. They only announced one new series they are developing themselves, everything else they have on the horizon (scripted drama-wise) are international acquisitions.
Better that than more reality shows and wrestling. If they can find a way to put more actual SF/F shows on their network within the budgetary constraints they're under as a basic cable network in the modern media climate, I say more power to them.
Netflix could pick up the same shows, and no doubt they do, without devoting airtime to them. So we can all see this stuff without SyFy picking anything up, and that's not even counting piracy.
Every show that SyFy acquires means one less original show that they might develop, though with their track record lately, it's not worth fetting over much, is it?
I just hope that RHW space opera series isn't dead beause SyFy is too damn cheap to produce practically anything anymore.
You gotta spend money to make money. SyFy's cheapass routine is definitely hurting their brand. They're solidifying a rep as the home of laughable, cheap crap. It's pennywise ans pound foolish.