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October 6, 2015

Sci Fi becomes Syfy... as if that makes a difference

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 16th 2009 10:05AM
SyFy logoFor one reason or another, people have been wanting to rename the Sci Fi network for a long time. About three years ago, someone shot a fake press release around the blogoshpere saying that the SciFi network was going to be renamed SurgeTV. Even as recently as last fall, surveys were going around suggesting that the name would change to Beyond. Now we finally have an official name change from the folks at NBC Universal and it's a big one: the Sci Fi network is becoming... the Syfy network.

Doesn't sound much different, does it? The shocking thing is that the network went through 300 (!) names before picking the phonetic version of their existing name. The name is supposed to be the "best of both worlds," network president Dave Howe tells TV Week; it sounds like the old name but it looks less geeky than the abbreviation for "Science Fiction." The new name and logo will start appearing on July 7, when the dramedy Warehouse 13 is launched.

Oh, and what has become of our friends at the excellent blog SyFy Portal? Well, they've also changed their name, to Airlock Alpha, selling the SyFy brand to "an undisclosed entity." Could that entity have a short, bald, opinionated failer-upper at its helm? Nah...

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Perhaps this is to appeal to purists who don't like to refer to "science fiction" as "sci-fI" anyway?

Oh, and does that mean that the karate voiced guy that said the name in its ads comes back? :P

March 22 2009 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I read they are changing it because they cannot TradeMark "SciFi".

March 17 2009 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is this pronounced "Siffee?"

March 16 2009 at 7:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should change it to Sly-Lie. That's what we fans of good quality science fiction have been calling it for years.

March 16 2009 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The worst thing is: aren't sci-fi fans attached to the words "Sci-fi"? They're gonna alienate their fanbase. This is so incredibly stupid it's barely believable...

And of course it costs GE a fortune...

March 16 2009 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Benjh's comment

From all appearances, they -want- to alienate their fanbase.

If you read the source article, there's a couple paragraphs of commentary about how the term Sci Fi is associated with male basement-dwelling gamer geeks and alienates the general public and females, and how they've spent the '90s trying to distance themselves from Science Fiction (part of the reason for the Sci Fi name, which is "cooler" than saying science fiction).

Apparently they think moving to the less-defined term SyFy, they have "the opportunities to imbue it with the values and the perception that we want it to have".

Speaking as a female Sci Fi fan/gamer geek/etc....

What a bunch of Smegheads!

I only hope the SyFy Portal guys got a huge sack of cash for the rights to the term.

March 16 2009 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey, why not follow in step with Pepsi, with their new logo (an abomination, the laughing stock of the design world), and that AWESOME new Tropicana packaging (already pulled). Sure, change for the sake of change is great!

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

March 16 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It sounds like some kind of venereal disease, nuff said

March 16 2009 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 16 2009 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Too bad we're not closer to April 1st - at least then we could imagine it's a bad April Fool's joke.

Seriously, wtf. I'm down with Andy, how is this LESS geeky?

And what happened to brand recognition? You knew when you changed the channel to "SciFi" what it was you were going to get. Or at least used to, until they added wrestling (again, wtf?) and goofy reality based shows.

"SciFi" conjures up a distinct genre in five simple letters - you don't even have to think about it. "SyFy"? What the hell does that mean?

Example: you've all seen that commercial on TV where people click their heels three times and think of home/dinner rolls? OK, now think about what kind of cultural impact that simple gesture has had in which an explanation isn't needed - you know it means "going home". Now what if they stomped their foot three times, wouldn't make any sense would it? Same deal with "SciFi" - "SyFy" is the equivalent of stamping your feet when you meant to click your heels.

March 16 2009 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kronos's comment

The only reason is so they can now buy and produce materials that has ZERO to do with SciFi and/or Fantasy. Watch for more wrestling. Watch for more reality shows based on people hooking up. Watch for more shows aimed at the teenage demographic. MTV plays no music these days, and never ever refer to themselves as Music Television. Expect the same here.

March 16 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jan Ski

They might as well change the name to "STONE" which stands for Shows That Other Networks Ended. The really good original programming has all but disappeared and only reruns of cancelled shows remain.

March 16 2009 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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