A Brief Comment Contained Within An Image

Sci-Fi Channel Has A New Name – Now It’s Syfy

“We couldn’t own Sci Fi; it’s a genre,” said Bonnie Hammer, the former president of Sci Fi who became the president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. “But we can own Syfy.”

Another benefit of the new name is that it is not “throwing the baby away with the bath water,” she added, because it is similar enough to the Sci Fi brand to convey continuity to “the fan-boys and -girls who love the genre.”

The principal reason the idea kept coming up, Mr. Howe said, was a belief “the Sci Fi name is limiting.”

“If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future,” he added. “That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes.”

Sci Fi Channel Aims To Shed Geeky Image With New Name

“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,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

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43 Responses to A Brief Comment Contained Within An Image

  1. tannenburg says:

    I suppose it’s all part and parcel with the tone-deafness the execs at the network exhibited by putting Professional Wrestling into a prime-time Tuesday slot. No offense to any wrestling fans out there, but there’s LOTS of channels which already have exposure of that fine oeuvre, and it just goes along with the general tendency that the SciFi -sorry, PsiFoo – er CyFee – er… – anyway, That Channel to aim to become the Spike Channel for Nerds.

  2. dartwick says:

    I understand why they might want a proprietary name, but they were mistaken.

    Its better to defacto own the name of a whole genre than it is to legally have your own weird name.

  3. Jason says:

    If they wanted to change the name, they should have gone and come up with something totally new. “Syfy” is lame enough that I’ll probably stop watching shows on their channel and just catch the stuff I care about over on Hulu.

  4. Athryn says:

    As I said before on QT3, this is just terrible.

  5. wtb job as NBC Universal brand manager. pst.

  6. EpicSquirt says:

    Hahaha, bunch of morons – at least the Polish speaking population probably thinks that. “Syf” (plural: “Syfy”) in Polish means grunge/dirt – in a very demeaning way.

    So much for testing the name, they should be happy that they didn’t choose a name translating to something which offends Islamic fundamentalists. Maybe they did?

  7. Somedudepassingby says:

    I somehow feel obliged to point out that “syfy” literally means “veneric diseases” in at least one slavic language.

    That is all.

  8. Arrakiv says:

    When I think of a sci-fi channel, I think of the Sci-Fi channel. When I think of “retarded name changes that hurt far more than they help,” I will think of SyFy.

  9. Todd Ogrin says:

    Sci-Fi HD played something called “Mammoth” recently, in which a giant mammoth terrorizes a small Louisiana town. Other creatures of terror: alligators, raptors, bees.

    “Discovery Channel OF TERROR” makes more sense than “Syfy.”

  10. Longasc says:

    I hope they paid the branding consultancy Landor Associates a lot of money for this GENIUS name….^^

  11. Davide says:

    It’s funny to see the names that Multi-million dollar executives come up with, it shows that they are earning their big bucks.

    It’s funnier when they come up with something that could be confused with a disease.

    Siffee? Sif-eye? Si-Fi?

    Got lucky after going to the bar last night an I caught a bad case of SyFy.

  12. Tesh says:

    Now I feel even less remorse for not being interested in Stargate: Universe.

  13. geldonyetich says:

    They still have a considerable amount of mistakes to make if they ever expect to catch up with G4.

  14. Iconic says:

    When something is so stupid that it doesn’t even require commentary to illustrate the stupidity… well, usually Jim Belushi is involved.

  15. Henry Marcus says:

    God dammit. At least I won’t have to watch that channel against after BSG finishes this week.

  16. Mordur says:

    My cool suggestion is call it SæFæ

  17. greglas says:

    Quoted in the second link is TV Historian Tim Brooks, who “helped launch” Sci Fi: “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.”

    Because I can’t believe it myself, let me just quote that bit again:

    “…geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in basements with video games and stuff like that…”

    Geeks, basements, video games, stuff like that…

  18. J. says:

    And supposedly, they’re doing something with Trion World Network “across all platforms.”

  19. UnSub says:

    greglas :
    Quoted in the second link is TV Historian Tim Brooks, who “helped launch” Sci Fi: “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.”
    Because I can’t believe it myself, let me just quote that bit again:
    “…geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in basements with video games and stuff like that…”
    Geeks, basements, video games, stuff like that…

    Is he wrong? 😉

  20. I’m trying to think of the last show on SciFi that I actually watched…

    Something tells me BRANDING isn’t the problem.

  21. hitnrun says:

    “”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””

    Stop stop please stop stop oh God no please please I’ll do anything just stop it hurts

  22. greglas says:

    Right or wrong, you don’t alienate your base!

  23. Mortarion says:

    Because “the way our brand name is spelled in l33t speak” is a good way to pick a name. ><

    Funny that they’re trying to shed the ‘geek’ image, though, looking at their audience. “18-to-34 tech-savvy crowd” is just another way of saying “geeks who are now adults”.

  24. Vykromond says:

    Should have gone full-bore: Xyvy.

  25. yunk says:

    Actually wouldn’t we text it “SF” since that’s shorter.

    Jesus they don’t need to emphasis the crap other shows like the ghost chasers that lie and manipulate people, at least BSG is upfront that it’s all make believe.

    Course now that BSG is gone and it looks like there’s not gonna be more Dr. Who for awhile there’s nothing for me to watch there.

  26. Jeff says:

    If you look up Epic Fail in the dictionary it says: “See Hammer, Bonnie.”

    I remember when they canceled the Dresden Files. She said the ratings were decent but not in the demographic they were looking for. The ads they had targeted the 18-34 male market. Dresden Files attracted a lot of female viewers.

    A month later Ms. Hammer was commenting on how the Sci Fi network needed to find a way to bring in more female viewers.

    /facepalm.

    Not to mention the way Sci Fi let the fans know the series was canceled was very underhanded. They released a press release that the lead actor had found another job. Like it was HIS fault they were not renewing it due to epic retardation.

  27. Jeff says:

    Henry Marcus :
    God dammit. At least I won’t have to watch that channel against after BSG finishes this week.

    Unless you want to watch the Caprica series. But yeah, I feel the same way.

  28. Dave G. says:

    Cooler… Cutting-edge… Hip…

    This is old fart marketing speak for “we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing, but we have to justify our exhorbitant pay packets somehow, and by using a bunch of stupid ‘young person’ terms, we can pull the wool over our shareholders eyes and mask our complete and utter incompetence for a bit longer – after all, most of our shareholders are old farts and they don’t understand this shit any better anyway”.

    NBC is a network which makes a special point of catering to the lowest common denominator at every possible opportunity. I know, I know, they all do, but NBC makes an artform out of it. They’re kind of like the EA of TV.

    Why have an interesting channel that targets a very specific group of people and makes loyal, satisfied fans out of them, when you can cast your net as wide as possible and hope to draw in as many fucking morons as you can? That is stock standard NBC behaviour.

    Now that might sound like a good business strategy, except for two things:

    1. People whose respect and loyalty you have gained are far more likely to buy aftermarket products like merchandise, DVDs, collectibles, etc.
    2. A random bunch of morons are far less likely to stick around watching your crap, and they sure aren’t going to pay for the privilege.

    They’ve been dumbing it down for ages, but this is the nail in the coffin. Intelligent people who enjoy science-themed shows are not going to sit there and swallow up shit just because you serve it. Good job on alienating what should have been the entire reason for this channel to exist.

    And yes, I’d never text “Syfy”. What are these people thinking? Somebody give these guys a fucking clue.

  29. Delmania says:

    Maybe Sci Fi shoudl try to revamp their image by playing higher quality movies and series and not crappy homegrown B movies and random reruns of the 70s horror shows.

  30. Ajediday says:

    And in other changes, Universal HD will be branded as the Home to crap you didn’t watch the first time and will change its name to “Miss it again”.

  31. wowpanda says:

    I was laughing so hard till I realized it is not a joke. They should at least consider something else. I will try “fifo”.

  32. faefrost says:

    I suspect that this change comes from Sci Fi’s legal department. And the root cause is probably the recent death of Forrest Ackemann. The man who actually coined the phrase “Sci Fi”. With his estate in play the lawyers were probably and undully concerned about challenges to their rather obvious use of the term as a comercial branding. If ‘Sc Fi” could be viewed as the defacto branding and trademark of the cable channel they might end up owing the estate alot of money. Hence they change it to an incredibly stupid nonsense name.

  33. L'Emmerdeur says:

    I understand that good sci-fi programming is limited and expensive to produce. Why does this channel have to be 24/7? They should stick to decent/good prime-time sci-fi and fantasy, and fill the non-prime hours with whatever crap earns them the most money with the least amount of effort – or perhaps a completely different daytime theme, perhaps by merging with a daytime-specific channel (a daytime soap channel? a game show channel?). Ms. Hammer, it’s called min-maxing, ask those of the viewers who play WoW about it.

  34. Pacer Dawn says:

    So, if someone doesn’t get this new channel, will they be “syfy-less”? (sih-fee-le.. well, you get the idea).

    This channel is one of the worst networks ever. Like Fox, when they sometimes find a good show (Lexx), they usually wind up canceling it. Meanwhile they continue to put out some of the worst made-for-TV movie garbage you would ever see. Movies that, at the end, the best you can say is “Well, it’s over, now I’m 2 hours closer to death.”

    Syfy? They should spell it “C-R-A-P”. I stopped watching Sci-Fi channel years ago. No complaints since.

  35. hellfire says:

    Bonnie Hammer is the same “person” who thought canceling the best show they’ve ever had was prudent. And no, that’s not BSG or anything with Stargate in the title, much as I enjoy(ed) both. This sort of idiocy doesn’t surprise and/or shock me.

    WWE rasslin’ counts as fantasy, right?

  36. Oz says:

    Was it Farscape, hellfire? Never understood clearly the reason for cancellation of that one, although honestly, I haven’t watched SciFi in years. Not due to the programming, Comcast charges $14.99 a month extra for the channel here, and the shows weren’t *that* good.

    In other news, the National Association of Farmers has renamed the fruit formerly known as “orange” to “citrus pellet”. The change was allegedly due to years of confusion over whether someone was talking about the fruit, or the color. Also, NADA was granted the power today by Congress to punch anyone in the face who still considers Pluto to be a planet.

    More on these stories as they happen. Back to you, Bob.

  37. Oz says:

    @Pacer Dawn

    Lexx was by far my most favorite show ever to appear on SciFi. Not that the writing was great (it wasn’t), nor the special effects (average), although the cheesecake was good. That’s why I liked it. I would purposly put it on at my mother-in-law’s house, as she hates me, and also is very easily offended. With that show on, it was like a forcefield preventing her from entering the room. I think I might have actually watched two episodes of the entire run, but I had every single episode on.

  38. Jeff says:

    @Oz
    I’m guessing he means the Dresden Files.

  39. Nerd Rage says:

    You know, several years ago I rarely watched anything other than SciFi. Over the last ~2 years, they’ve managed to turn me off completely. I don’t even watch BSG anymore, out of protest for how crappy the rest of the network has become.

  40. hellfire says:

    I have stricken Dresden from my memory. It’s better to pretend that it never happened than to live in a world where it is no longer there…

    But I did mean Farscape. You are dead inside if you can’t find joy in a show with a MUPPET as a full-fledged main character.

    DEAD. IN. SIDE.

  41. Cedia says:

    I’d just like to know what the heck that picture is. I mean, first of all, what is that dog in? A dress for a size 102 fat lady? And how did it get in there? Did somebody shove their dog in like that? I know my IG’s sometimes get stuck in my husband’s t-shirts like that but it’s loose.

    I’m curious because I haven’t owned a TV set in over ten years. And I’m very happy about that.

  42. Andy says:

    As everyone has probably read on the web by now, this wasn’t their best choice of new names.

    Since in Polish syfy apparently is the plural of syf which can mean mess, crap, filth, junk or pimple …. maybe they are just giving us a heads up as to the future directions they plan.

  43. Epic Fail… And Ghey…

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