March 17th, 2009 | researchmaterial
Years ago, when I had a development deal at Sci-Fi Channel, I was told that the upper echelons of the company weren’t really happy with the name "Sci-Fi Channel" and had long been looking for a replacement. An associate snarkily commented that maybe Bonnie Hammer would be happier with an Oprah-like branding. One of the Sci-Fi staffers shook their head sadly and said, "I was in that meeting, actually."
In some universe, the name “Syfy” is less geeky than the name “Sci Fi.” Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, is betting it’s this one. To that end, the 16-year-old network—owned by NBC Universal—plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
I never liked the term "sci-fi" in the first place, so it’s all the same to me. And it’s actually a smart marketing move. While the name can be spun as making less sense/saying less, that actually matters less in television (I live in a country with a tv channel called Dave) than having a unique name that can be applied to objects. "Sci-fi" is a generic term that has been used in branding for decades, after all.
Apparently there was a longrunning website called Syfy Portal, but their old URL now directs to… this:
Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. We just had to evacuate SyFy Portal when it destabilized due to some… tachyon… quantum… spacial… something or other.
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out for Sci-Fi/Syfy. I like that a speculative-fiction/weirdshit tv channel even exists, so obviously I hope it works out well for them. Equally obviously, there’s some nerdstorm backlash on the way…