The Sci-Fi Channel Changes Its Identity

SyFy, "Imagine Greater." Sci-Fi, imagine intelligent!?

It's never good to change your brand name on the same day a critic is having a really bad day. And this news isn't helping at all.

I don't know what they were smoking or drinking, but it must be pretty good sh** and I need some. The Sci-Fi Channel is looking to change its image so that it will be more appealing to a broader viewing audience, hence, a broader advertising market. So they're changing their name to something snazzier (they think) and are announcing their new network name:


Oooh, catchy. LOL - not. At least not to me.

Their hope is to come out of one of the best years they've ever had (I suspect due to Battlestar Galactica and Ghost Hunters), turn their back on their core audience and try to capture a broader audience, because heck, apparently science fiction isn't cutting it for them anymore. And my guess is that wrestling isn't all that big either on their network or we'd probably see more nights of it.

Sorry, back on track: They're looking for what they refer to as an "umbrella brand" so that they can latch on to new businesses, specifically "Sci Fi games and Sci Fi kids," but the term Sci Fi is already used, too common of a name and I think they feel, too restrictive. They also can't own Sci Fi, while they can indeed own SyFy.

For me, I'm thinking the name Sci Fi Channel did them good for 16 years but they're looking to broaden their horizons and look to market to kids who like sci fi games on top of all the sci fi programming.

With that in mind, they're working on a TV series that will be tied into a game. A subscription-based, multiplayer online game and a television series.

They worked with a brand consultant company called Landor Associates and they felt that of the 300 possible names, this was the best one.

Wow, I'd hate to see the other 299 options.

The name change will take affect on July 7th. The same day their dramedy, Warehouse 13 is premiering. I have to wonder if this isn't the show tied into the game because they felt it was important enough to pitch Warehouse 13 in the same breath, saying that the show is emblematic of the network's choice of name. On top of that, Warehouse 13, they claim, is like Indiana Jones meets Moonlighting meets The X-Files, and that the show “ a very accessible, relatable, fun show.” OK, so referencing key popular movies and shows is going to help, huh?

In case you haven't caught my drift, I'm not in love with this endeavor they've landed on us.

As I pondered this new name change, I was wondering about a website that has had that name for a very long time, SyFy Portal. Hmm, I went over there and it's no longer called that, but instead, it's called Airlock Alpha. WTH!? Did someone just make a ton of money because they had a monicker that NBC wanted? That would be cool. Vic! Let's pitch our site name to The CW... tell them they want to make a new network name that captures the feel of... oh, I can't do it. It's just too preposterous.

As it turns out, as Airlock Alpha says, NBCU had an internal marketing team develop the name. (Or cruise the web and say, "Hey!") and then Quantum Global Media Inc. rebranded SyFy Portal to Airlock Alpha and the "Syfy" brand was sold to an undisclosed entity.

Wow... it's nice to have a simple, direct and to the point site name, much like Screen Rant. Do you remember when the holder of the domain name made $7 million because someone else wanted it?

I can feel your discomfort with this whole process and don't worry, you are not alone. Lots and lots of people feel the same way.

As for us out here on the internet, now we have to create a whole new tag, category, keyword lists... oh the list goes on. Hey, maybe it's not the internet anymore. It's NetWord... Imagine Typing!

Sources: TV Week, Airlock Alpha

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