In some universe, the name â€œSyfyâ€ is less geeky than the name â€œSci Fi.â€ Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, is betting itâ€™s this one.
To that end, the 16-year-old networkâ€”owned by NBC Universalâ€”plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
â€œWhat we love about this is we hopefully get the best of both worlds,â€ Mr. Howe said. â€œWeâ€™ll get the heritage and the track record of success, and weâ€™ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.â€
Sci Fi is coming off the best year in its history. In primetime it ranked 13th in total viewers among ad-supported cable networks in 2008. Itâ€™s a top-10 network in both adults 18 to 49 (up 4%) and adults 25 to 54 (up 6%).
During its fourth-quarter earnings call, parent General Electric said Sci Fi racked up a double-digit increase in operating earnings despite the beginnings of the recession.
Nevertheless, there was always a sneaking suspicion that the name was holding the network back.
â€œThe 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,â€ 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 donâ€™t like science fiction enjoy a film like â€œStar Wars,â€ they donâ€™t think itâ€™s science fiction; they think itâ€™s a good movie.
â€œWe spent a lot of time in the â€™90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why itâ€™s called Sci Fi,â€ Mr. Brooks said. â€œItâ€™s somewhat cooler and better than the name â€˜Science Fiction.â€™ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.â€
Way to piss on your core audience. SyFy is how you spell SciFi in FAILese.
Here is their new logo.
Looks like the SciFi network just changed their brand from one that is instantly recognizable to one that sounds like an abbreviation for an STD.