In a marketing stunt that defies any sort of logic, the ever strong and faithful SciFi network is suddenly going to have to try to get viewers back now that Battlestar Galactica is drawing to its final fracking episode. Their idea? Rebrand the network “SyFy” to throw off the geek stigma. A rose by any other name…
“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.”
Mr. Howe said going to Syfy will make a difference.
“It gives us a unique word and it gives us the opportunities to imbue it with the values and the perception that we want it to have,” he said.
So what we have here is a marketing ploy to make sure the public is fully unaware that they are a network that caters to Science Fiction. Because that is bad.
They want to distance themselves from Science Fiction? Uh, what do they intend to do to hide the repeat viewings of Star Trek and Stargate franchise shows, and other geek staples that dominate their lineup. The occasional Vampire and Supernatural show do little to offset the Science Fiction Fare that has made the network popular.
I doubt the heavy weight they give the generalization they are tagging on their network name is going to change because they misspell the name and use a stylistically neutral logo.
For a network that has become famous for its Science Fiction content, and isn’t changing that content any, I doubt a change of name will do much to draw viewers. People watch specific stations for the shows they air, not the other way around. If they showed a movie I want to see on the Women’s network, I don’t suddenly change my mind.