SciFi to become ‘Syfy’

Updated: After 16 years, America's SciFi Channel will re-brand in a subtle shift away from aliens to a wider genre definition.

syfyThe logo is very cool. But what about that name?

After 16 years, the US Sci Fi Channel is changing its name to “Syfy.”

The switch will come in July along with a new slogan: “Imagine Greater.”

“We love being sci fi and we’re still embracing that,” said network president Dave Howe. “But we’re more than just space and aliens and the future – the three things most people think of when they think of ‘sci fi.'”

Fair point. The Twilight Zone always had plenty of fantastical episodes, without a spaceship in sight.

“What this does is hopefully give us the best of both worlds,” Howe said. “You keep the heritage, but also open up to a broader range of content.”

The network will unveil the branding campaign this summer along with the premiere of Warehouse 13, about two FBI agents who hunt down paranormal objects.

Their Battlestar prequel Caprica, which is a terrestrial-based drama rather than an outer-space adventure, is also considered to support this brand expansion, an effort that really began on the programming side a few years ago with the launch of drama Eureka, about a town of geniuses.

“We’re going to have upwards of 50 Sci Fi Channels in various territories and yet you cannot trademark ‘Sci Fi’ anywhere in the world,” Howe said. “A new logo design would not solve that particular challenge. We needed a brand name that was own-able, portable and extendable.

Howe reckons Syfy will better embrace fantasy, paranormal, action-adventure and mystery.

No word yet on whether the Australian Sci Fi Channel will be switching its presentation in July too. But given it has echoed the purple logo of the US network, it would seem to suggest Syfy (is that spelling too camp for Aussies?) is coming here sooner rather than later.

Source: Hollywood Reporter.

UPDATED: A spokesperson from Australia’s Sci Fi Channel advised today that is yet to consider the re-branding changes of the US channel, but that it is not under any obligation to join in the rebranding in the Australian market.

17 Responses

  1. Sci Fi has always been more than “just space and aliens” – changing the spelling of that is not going to change the perceptions of those that have no idea.

  2. Oh my, I can only presume that they figured that this was easier to type one handed….

    I wonder if he stuttered when he delivered these pearls of wisdom?

    Seriously, someone is getting paid a lot of money to come up with this!

  3. Can a spelling of a word be camp? ..or are you hearing it in your head with a lisp?.. it just gets spooky. Oh and Farscape.. really loved that show. It was a great showcase for aussie actors, directors and crews. Bring it back!

  4. I read a while ago an article about how the new management at the sci-fi channel actually quite dislike sci-fi and want to move the channel away from it. They aren’t particularly sci-fi fans, or fans of the shows on the channel, but some how got put in charge of it.

    It’s also why they cancelled Stargate Atlantis, even though it had a loyal following. They could only see the benefit of trying to change the franchise into something similar to Battlestar Galactica, hence the new series, Stargate Universe being a completely different format.

    This just further goes to push what that article was suggesting, they management doesn’t want to be as niche as sci-fi. Science Fiction as a term covers so much more than spaceships and everyone knows that. The new logo looks like it’s from a pharmaceutical company or something and honestly, changing sci-fi to the spelling a 3 year old would give it, is just utterly retarded.

  5. Sci-Fi in the US already shows crap like ECW “wrestling”…it was only a matter of time. With Battlestar finishing next week is there any reason to watch at all anymore?

    And the problem isn’t with their name, it’s their programming. Are people suddenly going to get excited by Star Trek and Stargate reruns with a name change?

  6. I guess they’re trying to target a younger, web 2.0 crowd?

    You know how it’s cool to drop silent letters in words, like Flickr, Tumblr, and umm, yeah, a whole bunch of other sites I can’t think of atm.

    Hope they get more tech related content on then…

  7. what a dumb idea, yes you cant tradmark the word sci-fi (i would think you could trademark sci-fi channel though) but when you hear the name sci-fi channel you know exactly what it is, while when you hear syfc you have no idea. also how did you say it, do you read out each letter or say it like one word.

  8. I don’t think the spelling is camp, I just think changing it to ‘Syfy ‘ is loopy. People won’t have any idea what it’s about. It won’t work.

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