Monday, March 16, 2009


I don't know if this is practice for an April Fool's joke or not. I heard through the Twittervine that the Sci-Fi Channel is changing its name to SyFy. Skimming the article tells me the network is looking to shed its "geeky" image, and there's something in there about crossing Moonlighting with Indiana Jones or something or other...I didn't get too far into it. I'm still looking at these four letters in disbelief. SyFy. Sounds like a skin disease. Aunt Bertha came down with the syfy last weekend. Done cleaned the Rite-Aid out of Gold Bond medicated powder. Tsk.

Have we learned nothing from New Coke? The Sci-Fi Channel established a strong brand when it launched. When we wanted Trek reruns and original science fiction programming from which to develop new fandoms for cons, we went there. True, the sci-fi genres tends to lend itself to a "geeky" stereotype, but in my recent experience attending cons I see a diverse group of fans. Just about everybody, at some time, enjoys an aspect of the genre. We may have a favorite show or movie, or author. Even though the channel is called SciFi, I acknowledge that sometimes the brand might encompass fandoms that aren't necessarily technical or futuristic. It's why we see fantasy books and movies there - hobbits lumped in with the stormtroopers. Each mini-brand presents a fantasy world and fantastic situations. It would make sense than enthusiasts would hop from one to the other. Having the Sci-Fi name lets people know what is available to them.
Bottom line, you change the brand, you risk the loss of your hard-core fan base. Some might argue change is good, and in some situations it is. With an established brand, however, that isn't always the case. Change Sci-Fi to SyFy, and what are people supposed to expect? You want more romance with your sci-fi, no need to change the name. We're smart people, we'll figure it out.
But SyFy? You put up that single and watch viewership be siphoned.

1 comment:

krispykremekiller said...

At least they are changing their name, now that they are likely headed in a new direction. What of MTV-Music TeleVision?!? I don't think I've seen a music video over there since th 90's. I haven't found anything artistic or entertaining on A&E nor have I learned anything from TLC except that John is P-whipped and Kate is a C-word. Sy-Fy? Why?