I’m sure this will be all over by the time I post it, but check it out.
No, that’s not The Onion. And today isn’t April 1st (I checked). Despite a double-digit increase in earnings, they really are changing the name because they think it’s been holding them back.
“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.
Mr. Brooks said that when people who say they don’t like science fiction enjoy a film like “Star Wars,” they don’t think it’s science fiction; they think it’s a good movie.
“We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.”
But wait! Turn off your outrage machine! There’s also this:
It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.
That’s right. Hidden beside the bashing of its core audience (you know, people who like science fiction) is a smart business decision. They want a trademark they can paste onto projects in other media, including a long-rumored MMORPG (did I get that right?) that will tie in to a TV series.
They’re also planning to launch Syfy Games and Syfy Kids. I think they were smart to change the name. They’re going to have branding that is uniquely their own.
Although they should have gone with “Skiffy”.