Thursday, March 19, 2009

New SciFi Name is Lame, Angers Twitterers

SyfyThis just in: the SciFi Channel is changing its name.

It still sounds exactly the same, but the boring I's have been replaced by more trendy Y’s, making it...SyFy.

Why, you may ask, is the brilliant reason behind this change?

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular...

We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci-Fi."

(Yeah, because “Sci-Fi” sounds nothing like a shorter version of “Science Fiction,” and “Syfy” sounds nothing like “Sci-Fi.”)

“We [the mega-corporation that owns this channel] really do want to own the imagination space. We want to get the credit for the range of content that we already have on our air and that we’ll be doing more of in the future.

When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it...

We’ll get the heritage and the track record of success, and we’ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.”

Hey, I’m a human! I’ll definitely start watching SyFy!

By taking the science fiction out of Sci-Fi NBC Universal hopes to broaden its brand to appeal to greater audiences, while simultaneously insulting all of its original fans.

TwitterIt looks like Twitterers aren’t too happy about the name change either. (Twitterers: the “techno-savvy” demographic that supposedly influenced the name change in the first place.)

tewha: BREAKING NEWS: Sci Fi to skip SyFy name, go directly to "Channel nobody watches."

mebobyounot: Sci Fi channel is now SyFy? Sounds way to close to Syfylis/syhphilis

sebFlyte: SyFy = Fail. That is all. (This one's my favourite.)

stitzelj: How long do you think it'll be before the SciFi Channel decides to do away with their new 'SyFy' brand due to the general outcry against it?

VoltjanStevens: SciFi Channel is changing their name to Syfy? That is TERRIBLE. That is SO. STUPIDLY. AWFUL.

jenn2d2: The day that the Sci-Fi Channel becomes "SyFy" is when I stop consuming their content. I guess they don't need geeks with disposable income.

What's my take? Seems to be another example of a corporation trying to own the rights to everything, even creating their own unlikable word to claim an entire genre as their own brand.

Dumb? Yes...but not surprising.


  1. I don't understand why a specialty channel wants to distance itself from it's core audience.

    Also, if they really want to be trendy, they should take out vowels all together. SF.

  2. Eh- I've been done with them for awhile now. This name change is indicative of the sort of gymnastics most specialty channels go through in order to justify off-topic content they want to show- ie "reality" shows. When was the last time you actually saw videos on MTV? Have you seen the crap on the History channel? "UFO Files" would seem to be more appropriate on SciFi...

  3. what kills me is the inablility to admit,"O.K.,we Effed up ,lets go back to Sci-Fi",This name is the "New Coke"of broadcasting. As an Ad guy,I'm laughing my ass off at their cluelessness. Fire whoever came up with that.Not all publicity is good...