Sci-Fi Channel feels nerdy, changes name

Branding: it's a word you'll hear thrown around by uncreative corporate con artists (read: executives, usually with British accents) who thrive on fooling the public--as well as their coworkers--and making something of their MBA. It's a meaningless makeover that's become standard for stick-up-their-butt companies to stay hip, and the latest to re-brand is The Sci-Fi Channel, which will now be known as…

…get ready for the most anti-climactic post-ellipsis ever… SyFy. That's right, Sci-Fi Channel will be known simply as SyFy beginning July 7.

"While continuing to embrace our legacy and our core audience, we needed to cultivate a distinct point of view with a name that we could own that invites more people in and reflects our broader range of programming," said Sci Fi Channel president Dave Howe, using the executive-speech thesaurus.

In other words, Sci Fi Channel just sounds too nerdy.

"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," TV historian Tim Brooks (who helped launch the Sci Fi Channel) told TVWeek.com, thus further negatively reinforcing the stereotype. Hey, I don't even have a basement!

SciFi.com will also be rebranded to SyFy.com, and the move will create "an umbrella brand name" that can be applied to future ventures like SyFy Games, SyFy Films, and SyFy Kids. And in case you were wondering, the press release announcing the change confirms that SyFy is "phonetically identical" to Sci-Fi. Honestly, that was actually pointed out.

Mr. Howe, if you were going for the "we're trying too hard" image, congratulations. What was wrong with the whole "if" campaign? That kind of ruled, if you ask me.

Sci-Fi Channel has seen incredible growth over the past few years, but is anyone else borderline insulted by this?

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May 16, 2009
I've watched Sci-Fi since it started and am definitely female. In fact in our house, my husband doesn't normally watch it. That being said, IMO Sci-Fi started a major down hill trend once they started playing ECW. I kept wondering what wrestling had to do with Sci-Fi, and apparently now it was just a way for them to change their image. Maybe they just want to loose their core followers?
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May 12, 2009
AwwwFUL!!!!!!

Being a true scifi fan (fem/wh/40's), with two 3 ft. long, 6 ft. tall bookcases filled with Asimov, Heinlein, McCaffrey, Rice & Yolen (plus a hundred other names), I am truly insulted by this change. I also agree with lintywebb, the 'if' campaign rules! It's raining cats & dogs makes me LOL.
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May 09, 2009
I would be "borderline embarrassed"...but honestly the channel has been nothing but B grade crap at best for the last 5 years or so. not much of a loss at this point. maybe when this drives it into the ground someone else will get a chance to try a channel like this.
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Apr 09, 2009
The Sci-Fi Channel has lost their mind. I have worked in branding for years and this is misdirected and just plain stupid. I am a general public (?) female and proud to be a scifi fan. Am I supposed to be ashamed of it? (And the "if" campaign did rule.)
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Apr 08, 2009
CBS made a hugh mistake in canceling of Moonlight. Everyone into the Twlight craze, a second season of Moonlight would have increased its fans. I am tired of so many of the shows, Moonlight was a new twist. Sci Fi now has my attention and I am telling everyone to watch Moonlight reruns and comment.
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Apr 06, 2009
Why would I care what the station name was, thats not an issue to me, I am a big Sci-Fi fan but is dificult to find good Sci-Fi, the Sci-Fi channel sure doesnt have any with all the Snake movies and slasher flicks, and even wresteling and some embarasing show about ghosts, maybe I just dont know what Sci-Fi is.
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Apr 02, 2009
This has got to be a joke. Dave Howe, get a clue. Tim Brooks, your statement alone may cause most of the current viewers to seek out other venues.

Going to miss the Sci-Fi originals, but time to move on. Cya.
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Mar 30, 2009
Early April Fools joke?
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Mar 30, 2009
so this means now it is supposed to make sense that you have wrestling on it now? SYFY give me a break!!!!
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Mar 30, 2009
Eugh. They couldn't be any more creative?!
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Mar 30, 2009
'SyFy', huh? This is from the same people who brought us Sabertooth, Anaconda Vs. Boa, Gargoyle, Raptor Island and whatever that SS Videogame Nazi monster was. I'm not surprised. Instead of worrying about their name, they should be concerned about the quality of their programming.
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Mar 29, 2009
SyFy? Now that is plain stupid.
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Mar 28, 2009
Yeesh! Just goes to show that the Sci Fi Channel is getting farther and farther away from their core demographic in an attempt to woo people who have no interest in their shows. How stupid *are* marketing people anyway? Oh, well... I've known for years, since the Sci Fi Channel became the bad monster movie of the week channel that if we were ever going to get the original Sci Fi Channel mission back, those shows that us "geeks" love to watch, that it will happen when someone else will have to create another channel, or they'll have to be bought out by "geeks" who understand the mission. {sigh!}
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Mar 27, 2009
i'm not an antisocial boy...i'm an antisocial girl who acts like a boy, there's a difference. and i hate change so thankgoodness this change is exactly the same; sci-fi - syfy. are they serious?
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Mar 27, 2009
Oh, and i forgot, it seems the edit doesn't work for me. In the technical terms of the name, i dont think it goes to dysfunctional or nerdie people, Im not a nerd kind of person even so i like technology but i dont go that far, but also some of my family like the channel but specially some shows, and specially my mother who tells me about things in the series and sometimes she asks me to record few episodes.

An STD, interesting, who knows, but probably SyFy as in SyFylis.
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Mar 27, 2009
I tend to wonder about management, sure, new shows are coming but isn't science fiction shows and movies as of why i go and watch Sci-fi? No wonder there is a change of management since the last time i checked, the channel is 50% science fiction and the rest with other stuff specially ECW, as i think there are no aliens wrestling or one wrestler creating a bionic weapon of some sort, and who knows if the orders are coming from USA network in which in not science fiction and only they are the license holders. This looks like the last episode of South Park of MArgariteville that the department of treasury cut the head of a chicken and put it to run to see what name it lands on. And then they cancel the show of Atlantis. I think this channel will end deep in the sea that is if the new shows they throw are good or not. Plus mentioning the large re-runs they show as i already seen almost the entire series in one month.
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Mar 25, 2009
I thought money was tight, why spend all the money to change the name, use that to get better shows and even though wrestling is science fiction does it really need to be taking up room on our SCI-FI station?
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Mar 25, 2009
DEAR Prup-aka-JBentn - Oh, you are not the only person who remembers that SF was considered "children's fair" and basically was only watched as "serials" at the beginning of movies, back in the day. Indeed, the authors you mentioned (Heinlein being one of my favorites of all time - I GROK) often penned their stories FOR a younger audience. Of course, Asimov had SCIENCE to back many of his writings, as did many other authors of the period. When the abbreviated "SCI FI" was introduced, I remember it mostly being the Saturday "CREATURE DOUBLE FEATURE" on television, often mixed in with horror (classics and non, alike). One thing that is somewhat amusing - here they have come up with this new name. I wrote a post to this a few days ago, and tonight wanted to find this forum. I typed in what I THOUGHT was the spelling - a couple of times - and nothing came up. Know why? I didn't REMEMBER what the "new, wonderful, non-nerdy" title was! It took me almost 20 minutes of searching through various archives to find the "news story" that generated this thread! How's that for making people easily find this brand new, super fantastic station? LOLOL - and I did, in my own home, laugh and laugh. What fools -- and I'm actually IN the PR business! These idiots have not a CLUE of what they speak, and have forgotten the thousands of people who have gone on to be super geniuses in the scientific field, engineering, space exploration - heck, even those who have taken the "communicator" and turned it into a cell phone - BECAUSE of "SCIENCE FICTION / SCI FI!" NERDS, indeed! Prup-aka-JBentn, thank you for your insightful commentary, your reminder of the literary background for much of what is now considered SCI FI, and astute observation that SF fans didn't think much of STAR TREK when it first aired. Indeed, my watching of the SCI-FI CHANNEL has now become none existant with the demise of BSG - until they come out with something worthy of watching - or at least laughing-at on Saturday night. When did SCIENCE FICTION become "the scariest night of television?" The greats you mentioned must shake their heads - or turn in their graves.
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Mar 25, 2009
Absolutely ludicrous.
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Mar 24, 2009
Not exactly an April Fool's joke, but it could happen in the near future: The CEO of BET- Esteemed executives, it has come to my attention a few weeks ago that BET TV and BET.com has become very bland among the young people who view us on TV and on the internet. They feel that despite our music videos and many shows that speak to them, we ain't "down with it." So, I have racked my brain for days on end and decided that starting June 1, BET and BET.com will become PARTAA TV and PARTAA.com. How do you like that idea, gentlemen? The execs- That is a great idea! We love it! No way will the young ones feel alienated by that name! And the older viewers will come around to embrace the name change after some whining! But there's just one question... what do the initials stand for? The CEO- The acronym PARTAA stands for... (The answer will appear next Monday!)

************************************************************************



The CEO of BET TV/BET.com-esteemed executives, thank you for showing up at this rushed meeting. I will get to the heart of the matter. Starting June 1, BETTV/BET.com will become PARTAATV/PARTAA.com. At our last meeting, you asked me what the acronym meant. Well, I'm gonna tell you. PARTAA stands for People After Round T*** And A**. The name change is wholesome and one to be VERY proud of, don't you think?
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Mar 24, 2009
Wow and these guys have MBA's? I'm not only insulted but appalled by the complete idiocy of the whole idea. What a waste of brainpower and money.
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Mar 23, 2009
honestly, shouldn't the channel embrace the "nerdiness" of the idea behind the channel, and almost all of the shows that call SciFi home? "iF" is a great tagline for the channel, and now what are we supposed to say about the channel, "y?"??? ("as in "Y" on earth did we change the name??")
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Mar 23, 2009
Did the pronunciation change or just the spelling? Strange. I wonder how much they paid for that.
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Mar 23, 2009
epic fail
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Mar 23, 2009
When I stop laughing, I might be able to overlook the part where they say geeks aren't part of the general public... I liked the If thing too... Does that mean I'm one of the dysfunctionals? :P
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Mar 23, 2009
its odd because SciFi is owned by NBCUni, which on the whole develops pretty good programming. But I'm wondering if GE is changing their budget which also changes what goes on with SciFi, and until viewship is up again, they won't get their funding. The fanbase was secure when SG-1 was running, and in general the stuff surrounding SG-1 was pretty solid
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Mar 23, 2009
Everyone should go to sci-fi.com and go to the botom of the page that says feeback and crash their server what a dumb ideal. Sci-fi is Sci-fi, changing the name won't get people to watch, more scripted programs like Battlestar Galactica frack them all to hell.
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Mar 23, 2009
The name Sci-Fi has been associated with dysfunctional people? Good grace for a channel that telecasts shows that MAY promote that dysfunction. The first person they need to fire is the guy who wrote this speech...The MOST idiotic speech I have read in my life.

Stop generalizing and probably you guys will see the need not to waste money in changing anything.
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Mar 23, 2009
I won't be watch watching Sci-Fi anymore, look what happen to CMT, TVLAND Doesn't show hardly classic TV anymore. The president of Sci-Fi should be fired.
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Mar 22, 2009
Oh dear lord, what are they thinking? Science fiction is a genre. Sci-Fi is what it should be called. SyFy sounds horrible. Idiots! Try giving us more quality sci-fi shows and movies instead.
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Mar 22, 2009
SyFy is kind of cool, maybe they are trying to save on letters, economy is bad this days!!
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Mar 22, 2009
SyFy sounds about 1000 times more geeky.
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Mar 22, 2009
Executives go for cheap and easy fixes. A name change as noted before that allows that better trademarking and internet relevance is a low dollar hi impact change. Putting on quality shows and quality movies means money expenditure, and the parent company for Sci Fi is notoriously cheap and not much for making a legacy with any of its networks, it's a business to leverage and it fails to note viewers below a certain advertising dollar threshold. Maybe a letter or peanut campaign by viewers might affect their decisions, but like so many large banking institutions, our efforts are like mosquito buzzing at sealed windows, they don't really notice or care. If you are a major sponsor, then you're visible, and might be able to sponsor a legacy (kinda like the ole days of tv sponsorship). With the current economic downturn, get use to more Sea Beast and fewer Battlestars, more digital snakes versus digital spiders and less Star Gates, Farscapes, etec. If only Sci Fi was wealthy and independent and could rescue canceled shows from the other networks and bring in the talent to make the network a showcase of top worldwide productions - not just that network that also shows wrestling and fringe reality shows to fill out the schedule.
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Mar 22, 2009
I'm not *borderline* insulted. I am *thoroughly* insulted. Bad enough that the science fiction genre is disrespected at every turn, but now the people who run the channel with its name are telling the fans of Sci Fi (the genre and the "better seen days" of the Channel) that they're not just "unhip", they're irrelevant. Screw you, Sci Fi. Now that Battlestar is gone, I think I'll be finding my science fiction viewing elsewhere. Thanks for making the Channel a laughing stock.
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Mar 22, 2009
9) Get rid of the wrestling. If I need to explain then you're already lost beyond hope.

To put my feeling as the kids might say, this is both gay and retarded. You'd figure they would have been lead in a grander direction with the success of Battlestar Galactica. But no, they are more concerned with a freaking name than improving the quality of their programming. This is a perfect example of why people dismiss television as an idiot box.
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Mar 21, 2009
1) find less crappy movies. There are plenty of OLD SF movies that people would enjoy seeing that are tons better than Sea Beast. Or the other ones
2) discontinue crappy shows and develop better ones. Bye bye Enterprise and that Amanda Tapping garbage
3) pay the SG people lots of money to develop a show (other than SG) that can bring them mone
4) develop short shows, like Eureka, that can bridge gaps between seasons, which they normally do all along
5) find sometime to air cult classics, like V (so hokey, but so good)
6) more anime, and not the bad stuff
7) if campaign
8) leave the name
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Mar 21, 2009
as in Sci Fi Canada I mean...
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Mar 21, 2009
If they keep this name for more than four months, then I'd say it works (Remember TechTv, which became G4TechTv for about two months, and now G4? Either way, it was a horrible change from the start) ... I sure hope the world isn't stupid enough to have the SyFy name make the station more successful. As long as the programmings the same. Oh, and I'm in Canada! Which I don't think is changing its name! Good!
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Mar 21, 2009
SG1, Atlantis, and Galatica are gone. I have no reason to watch the chanel any more. So changing the name means nothing to me!
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Mar 21, 2009
Instead of changing the name, perhaps the execs should concern themselves with finding better movies to air. Sea Beast...are you kidding me?
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Mar 20, 2009
I think that Spike TV is much more sci-fi than the Sci-Fi Channel is now... They have DS9 and Voyager, CSIs, Star Wars movies, etc. Sci-Fi has wrestling and D horror movies that cannot even be released on DVD because they are so bad!
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Mar 20, 2009
Now it just sounds gay and nerdy....
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Mar 20, 2009
I find the new name more nerdy, lol.
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Mar 20, 2009
Glad the space channel in canada has not sold out
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Mar 20, 2009
Not exactly an April Fool's joke, but it could happen in the near future:

The CEO of BET- Esteemed executives, it has come to my attention a few weeks ago that BET TV and BET.com has become very bland among the young people who view us on TV and on the internet. They feel that despite our music videos and many shows that speak to them, we ain't "down with it." So, I have racked my brain for days on end and decided that starting June 1, BET and BET.com will become PARTAA TV and PARTAA.com. How do you like that idea, gentlemen?

The execs- That is a great idea! We love it! No way will the young ones feel alienated by that name! And the older viewers will come around to embrace the name change after some whining! But there's just one question... what do the initials stand for?

The CEO- The acronym PARTAA stands for...

(The answer will appear next Monday!)
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Mar 20, 2009
LOL! What a stupid name. I guess now I feel cooler watching SyFy. Instead of using what little brainpower they have on creating a horrible name. They should use it to create better shows and movies.
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Mar 20, 2009
Syf - syphilis in polish
Syfy - plular of said word. ;p
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Mar 20, 2009
Still the dumbest idea ever, well maybe not ever, since the last time I commented. Come on, SyFy? Unnecessary and if they're looking to avoid nerdy, idiotic. SyFy sounds nerdier than SciFi. I mean really.
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Mar 20, 2009
I don't think insulted is the correct word.......
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Mar 20, 2009
That is the worst idea ever. They need to Keep Sci Fi! not change it to SyFy.
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