Like The SCI-FI Channel? No, You Like The SyFy Channel.

     March 16, 2009

Written by Nicole Pedersen

If you like science-fiction and lots of wrestling programming then you probably like the Sc-Fi Channel. Basic cable’s last stop for shows like “Star Trek”, “The Twilight Zone” and “Jericho” has had one of its best years to date – in part due to the heavily promoted final episodes of “Battlestar Galactica”.

So this would be the perfect time to change things up at Sci-Fi, wouldn’t you agree? After all, if it ain’t broke – break it. That’s what my Grandpa always used to say.

Because the name “Sci-Fi” is just too durned generic, the higher-ups at the network are changing the name to “SyFy” as of this summer. When I first saw the story and the brand new “SyFy” corporate logo I thought it was an internet prank – the whole thing just seems so unnecessarily bizarre. But no, this is real as the following excerpt from a Sc-Fi, excuse me, SyFy press release makes clear:

Building on 16 years of water-cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy, beginning this summer, Dave Howe, president, SCI FI, announced today.

By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider range of current and future imagination-based entertainment beyond just the traditional sci-fi genre, including fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.

“Imagine Greater” will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment.

Ah-ha! Did you catch that? It’s about having an “ownable” trademark. That makes sense then. Of course, why no one thought of this 16 years ago is beyond me.

The press release continues with:

Syfy—unlike the generic entertainment category “sci-fi”—firmly establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all nonlinear digital platforms and beyond, from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.

The only SyFy offshoot that gets to keep its name? Sci-Fi Wire. I’m not sure if Patrick Lee should feel happy about that or a little bit insulted.

Check out SyFy, I mean Sci-Fi Wire here.

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