As I reported back on March 16th, The Sci-Fi Channel is changing it’s name to Syfy. This name change is part of a brand image change by the 16-year-old network and it’s due to happen on July 7th, 2009.
“Syfy, imagine greater.” Take notice of the proper spelling. There is no upper case F in the name.
This change is part of a plan to create their own marketable brand while still staying connected to the roots that have served them so well for more than 15 years. It’s also a specifically coined term that they can copyright for themselves, unlike the term Sci-Fi which is generic across so many mediums. Syfy will now make web searches and other references attributable to their own content.
Under this new brand umbrella, they’re looking to expand their horizons with things like new television series’. Some of these new shows will be tied into online multiplayer games to attract their newest hope for a demographic, the youth market. Dave Howe pretty much confirmed this when he became president of the Sci-Fi Channel back in January of 2008.
On top of the online presence, there will also be original Syfy content with projects like Riverworld, Phantom, Alice and a remake of the 1988 film, Alien Nation, just to name a few.
The change is going to be heralded by an event at Rockefeller Plaza and Syfy’s first official series under their new moniker will be Warehouse 13 which is premiering on July 7th with its 2-hour pilot. According the Syfy, the show is a pop-culture-crazed amalgam of Bones, X-Files and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr..
Howe says that Warehouse 13 is the epitome of their new brand. I’m not sure how that works out yet, but my educated guess is that this show will have an online presence. Since the premise of this show is locating artifacts, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that they’ll have some sort of online game where you search for things.
Perspectives On The Change
Aside from what some fans are sneering about in regards to the name change, Howe said that their research showed that aside from their already installed core audience, most folk believe that the network telecasts shows about Star Trek, space aliens and the future.
Syfy understands that this modification to their identity will take some time to grow on us. As if we have a choice. July 7th is the magic date when everything changes for Syfy… or at least they hope it does.
If Howe is on track with this mod to the network name / logo, it should work for them and move them up in the rankings of networks. He was the man behind the marketing of Tin Man, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. Before he came to Syfy he also had a very successful 15 year run at the BBC where he led marketing teams for BBC’s 17 UK, BBC America, BBC World, BBC One and BBC Two. He also led the teams responsible for launching BBC News 24, BBC America, BBC Canada, BBC Choice, BBC Knowledge, BBC Three, BBC Four, UK Horizons, UK Drama, UK Style, UK Play, and UK Food.
He’s got a good track record and you have to admit, if his efforts work then we may actually get more of what we like and possibly, more originality in the process.
I’m not waving the flag for other “projects” like WWE that are at the network now, but if they can stay afloat and keep bringing us shows like Battlestar Galactica and its spin-offs, more awesome original content like Tin Man and get their hands on the rights to more syndicated repeats of Moonlight and the like, then to some degree we win. We just have to weather the other noise aimed at other demographics.
With that in mind, for my own selfish reasons, I hope this works.
Do you feel the same for this name change as I do?
As always, your comments and opinions are welcome here on Screen Rant.
Sources: News Day, NY Daily News