GalacticMu

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WyTyFySyFy?

Posted by Sunday on Mar 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm in TV

I’m certain every jackass and their dog will weigh in on the Sci Fi/Syfy Channel reveal, so we here at GalacticMu of course got straight to it, though our dog is a slow typer and will take a little longer.

sci-fi-channel-logo.jpg

Dead.

If you haven’t caught it yet, the Sci Fi Channel has rebranded themselves as just Syfy, a move that triggers extreme suspicion on our part.  In fact, I’m having such a hard time keeping my thoughts wrangled that I need to start a list.

1.
Rebranding is almost always a bad idea.  Rebranding often comes in the face of waning interest, an attempt to catch up with the public’s new tastes.  This is most often seen in a product that hasn’t grown with it’s audience, allowing itself to become dated.  However, the network claims to have had it’s best year ever and thus, it has decided that it needed the phrase that makes my eyes shoot ochre jelly, the dreaded “reboot”.  This leaves us to ask, what for?  The problem with encouraging viewer/customer loyalty is that you can’t just go switching it all around every time a focus group says “duh”.

2.
The resounding implication that science fiction is lame.  How else are we to take it?  Sci Fi Channel’s own press release repeatedly throws around the phrase “imagination-based entertainment,” a phrase, I’m disturbed to have to point out, that just means “fiction”.  There’s an argument they seem to hover around making that science fiction just isn’t enough, pointing out that they are opening themselves up for programming that contains “(…) fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure.”  That sounds fine.  Except these things are all, with the exception of “reality” which triggers a Jonesie-vs-Alien hiss in me, still capable of being science fiction.  In fact, what they are implying is that scifi can’t be mysterious, or that scifi can’t be adventurous — which is totally wrong; science fiction is almost by definition mysterious, and has a long, rich history of adventure, action, the supernatural and the fantasic.  I’ve read the press release over and over again and what I keep coming away with is “We don’t want to be seen with you nerds anymore.”

3.
The Sci Fi Channel has pulled this shit before.  Remember, these are the people that canceled the popular and award-winning Farscape out of a grudge match and just last year announced that the whole channel needed to be “human, warmer, friendlier” in order to attract more female viewers.  (Meanwhile, Ghost Hunters, a profound piece of shit of a show, has been greenlit for a 6th season.)  On one hand they offer actual money for science fiction TV to be made (Jane Espenson [Buffy, BSG] and Rockne O’Bannon [Farscape] are teaming up this year on Warehouse 13, for nerd-boner example) but they don’t actually have a personal interest.  The idea is to have a hit, however they can aquire one.  There’s nothing stopping them from making a reality dating show, and I’m sure it’s a matter of months before that’s actually the case.

4.
Syfy?  I just don’t know, guys.   As friends of mine know, this is eerily close to my personal email address (sort of), but I wasn’t planning on launching a TV network with it.  I wish I could say I expected better of you, but I’d be lying.  Perhaps even worse is the new tagline, “Imagine Greater.”  First off, “greater” is a weird fucking word and no one wants to see it.  Secondly, imagine greater what?  Programming?  You guys are digging your own hole here.

Ultimately, I just don’t see these guys living this down any time soon.  Every time someone says the word Syfy they are going to draw it out in consonant-embarrassment, syeee-fyeee.  But I guess this is what happens when we let our shameful geek-habits out of the basement.

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March 16th, 2009 | TV

9 Responses to “WyTyFySyFy?”

  1. quagmire Says:

    Folks, you are witnessing a channel in it’s agonizing Death Throes! R.I.P SciFi channel(for me it died when they started showing shit like Mansquito and Crocman, or whutevah! With the final episode Of BSG this Friday, this will indeed be the last screw in the coffin lid for both SciFi and (fuck, I hate to even write the stupid name)Syfy. I want to say ‘Siffee’ when I see it it text. As more than a few people have commented, it has the nasty twang of a venereal disease. It’s pretty obvious what their true motive is in making this incredibly STUPID move … they want to OWN (pownd!) the labeling for the crap they intend to market! They couldn’t trademark SciFi because of it’s universal usage. So get ready for a video game called Wrestling Ghost Hunters of The Giant Anaconda on Witch Mountain kids … it’s coming in late ’09 from the fertile minds at … (sound of plasma pistol-fire here … pew pew) Syfy !

  2. quagmire Says:

    Lord Atmo sez: WTF? (woof the fuck?)
    … that’s our slow-typing space dog’s comment.

  3. Sunday Says:

    I want to add a small addendum that I don’t think needs to be on the front page.

    As other sources in support (and coincidentally in the payroll of Sci Fi Channel and/or its affiliates) of Syfy are pointing out, President David Howe and ex-Pres Bonnie Hammer have mentioned that this name change is in large part due to the fact that they can’t trademark the term “sci fi” — it’s a terminology for a genre, it’d be like trademarking the word “romance”. These other sources are saying that Howe is “being straight-up,” and I have to counter: yes, but also no. The Sci Fi Channel has done some serious work rebranding not just a trademarkable name, but a new identity. If they were straight-up I think their concern would be with maintaining continuity, something they offhandedly claim to be doing while changing programming, logos, names and philosophies. It’s a little more complicated than a “straight-up” name change.

    Additionally, there is a mild kerfuffle already starting about their having bought out the name Syfy from a website called “SyFy Portal” (now called airlockalpha.com). According to Airlock Alpha, the property rights to SyFy Portal (and thus, the word Syfy, no matter what the capitalization hijinks) were purchased at an exorbitant sum and with no real indication as to what it would be used for. AA believed it would be used for something at Sci Fi Channel, but had no idea it was going to be used as the new network name. While this doesn’t change their feelings about accepting a lot of money for the deal, AA is upset that NBC (which owns Sci Fi Channel) INSISTS that they came up with the name “Syfy” all on their lonesome. My reaction: welcome to branding.

  4. halcyon Says:

    Just to be clear, the correct pronunciation of syfy is see-fee or see-figh, or possibly seh-fee (as Q pointed out). Entomologically:
    posy : poh-see
    pussy: puh-see
    rosy: roh-see
    spiffy: speh-fee
    justify: justee-figh
    sybil: seh-bill
    syncopate: sehn-coh-paht

    The only time “sy” has a sigh sound is after a “p”. Psychology!

    I hate to defend what is clearly the worst-thought-out marketing idea since SayWA, but it’s pretty damned likely NBC thought of “syfy” before they saw the AA site (and that they only paid off the Airlock people after they found them as part of their routine trademark search) primarily because “syfy” is exactly the kind of glaringly obvious (although horribly wrong) answer that would be written up first on a giant white-board in the boardroom, followed immediately by the refrain “no bad ideas!”*

    (*Meaning, paradoxically, not: “stop pitching bad ideas” but: “yes, keep the bad ideas coming!”)

    All that aside, they didn’t really need a new name and just threw out the remainder of any brand loyalty (aka feelin’s) that remained. This is the equivalent of thumbing your nose at your high school lunch buddies without having joined another clique. Enjoy eating jello alone, there, sehfee. Loneliness can be a powerful learning tool.

    Always here to help,
    Halcyon
    Psych Officer
    Galactic Mu

  5. Sunday Says:

    Also. People are pretty excited that “syfy” is a Polish word that very loosely translates to “bloody mess” or “pustule” – actually “syf” means “junk” or “mess” and “syfy” is slang for venereal disease, usually syphilis.

    There’s a lot of “They shoulda thought of that!” to which I’m like, sure, they should have asked someone from every nation in the world if “syfy” was slang for something.

    I would have guessed Welsh, for the record.

  6. quagmire Says:

    Hey, Dr. Hal ‘Psych’ Snow (or anyone else who might know), does this mean that SciFi is now (theoretically) fair game for, say, my upcoming website or heck, even another channel on TV … we all know they need another channel, 462 stations just ain’t enough for me! I’m callin’ my buddy Steve ‘Space-fingers’ Bahlmer to tell him to buy me a channel. One guess what I’m gonna call it … muuaaahahahahahaha

  7. halcyon Says:

    Nah, they probably retained the rights. I would have since it will be reverting later this year when they realize the new name is a total washout.

    On the other hand, I would get cable if they carried channel muuaaahahahahahaha.

    Always here to help.

  8. xadrian Says:

    Someone needs to grab the domain notsyfy.com like right now.

    Also available, goodsciencefiction.com and realsciencefiction.com

    This will be like any other niche programming where the big name goes AWOL on its fanbase (MTV) and allows other networks to fill the void. This is why we have so many channels. I personally don’t care. I mean, I think it’s a ridiculous move, but you know what? I was barely watching the channel anyway. BS:G is done, Doctor Who is on for two hours this year, that’s about it. Unless they keep running ST:TNG nightly marathons, I have no reason to watch the channel regardless of the name.

    In short, they could call it Fuck You Fanboy TV but if they played decent programming I’d watch it.

  9. nypinta Says:

    I don’t care how they spell it, they will always be Skiffy to me. Except when I’m not watching anymore, which is pretty much every hour of every day except one hour on Friday and soon I won’t even be watching then.

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