Sci Fi Goes for Cool as Syfy

Mar 16, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Sci Fi Channel is changing its name to Syfy as it tries to move away from the genre’s association with geeks and space aliens, TelevisionWeek reports. The network will launch the new name July 7 when its new series “Warehouse 13” premieres, TVWeek says.
—Jon Lafayette


  1. Another example of a network that tries unwittingly to alienate their core audience. They’ve already done it once by adding wrestling to the channel. I mean, come on, how does that tie in to the genre? Sci-fi is a cool name for a network. Please don’t add to the “dumbification” of America by displaying a lack of spelling ability.

  2. Well, so much for a cool name. “move away from the genre’s association with geeks and space aliens” I thought that’s what they where going for. Some stupid suit told them this would be a great idea. Blah!

  3. This seems really silly. Is it really cool to encourage bad spelling? Is the SciFi channel trying to attract the sort of people that don’t know what sci-fi is short for? If so, why?!

  4. Wresting isn’t so bad; I consider it akin to a long commercial — something the network uses to pay for its real programming. Changing the name, though? Looks iffy to me.

  5. It’ll probably go the way of TechTV -> G4. I haven’t watched that since the changeover. Used to be a great channel that tried to broaden it’s niche and failed.

  6. Have they done a survey and found the average american thinks SciFi is pronounced ‘Skiffy’?

  7. No longer will there be channels devoted to individual genre, there will only be the one all encompassing TV with the same reality shows and sports matches. Sci-fi is known for it’s science fiction shows, yes it’s geeky, but that’s the point. If I want to watch a low budget, made-for-tv horror/historical movie, I turn to Sci-fi. If I want to watch some hip new show, I don’t. More often than not, I’m watching Sci-fi. Change the name, and eventually the content and it’ll be just like PaxTV (what’s it called now? Haven’t tuned in since the name change). Improving ratings is all well and good, but studio execs have to remember who their dedicated fan base is, alienate them, and you’ll be left with an audience who will drop you like the last American Idol.

  8. I am 56 yrs old. About 15 yrs ago the local town library decided to free books from their “ghettos” by mainstreaming all new titles. Thus now if you are looking for science fiction and fantasy you can browse thru a clearly defined section of those titles – but you won’t find anything less than 15 yrs old. For all the newer books you had better already know the titles and authors before looking for something that might interest you.
    I don’t believe the policy works with my local library, and I don’t understand why they would try it with a cable tv channel. With Internet TV becoming more popular, I thought “narrow-casting” was obviously the way to go.

  9. That’s a rather lame decision. If that’s the “goal” then the channel’s purpose is completely defeated! Well, it’s not like there’s much actual music on MTV anymore either…maybe they should change their name…at least that would make some sense. Yet another reason why I don’t watch TV anymore. Go figure.

  10. Sadly, I think the SciFi channel will join the ranks of cable channel obscurity with the likes of Spike, G4, MTV, etc. as soon as Stargate and Battlestar wrap up. It’s been proven time and time again that a niche channel dies when it starts trying to serve viewers outside of its original market.
    Continue growth by investing in the creation of new content that stays loyal to your niche audience. Trying to draw new viewers by offering reruns of non-scifi syndicated programming… Well, you might as well go jump off the proverbial bridge.
    It was nice knowing you, SciFi. You will be missed.

  11. This is LAME!

  12. uh wtf? if it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it
    Syfy is NOT cool in the slightest. Seriously.
    Leave Sci Fi alone!

  13. sigh….why?

  14. Really bad move…

  15. There’s nothing about this that makes any sense- it’s a Sci-Fi Channel, right? They’re still going to have SCIence FIction shows on the channel, right? They’re still going to show schlocky movies on their “most dangerous night of television,” right?
    Be what you are- you’re not fooling anyone with a poorly spelled name.
    If you weren’t predisposed to watch “SS Doomtrooper” – i.e. you like “geek” stuff – you will not be persuaded by a name that’s now baby talk.

  16. OMG it’s New Coke all over again.

  17. Congratulations on going from a name that has meaning, to a name that has absolutely no meaning to anyone. So people like me, that gravitate to that channel as a direct result of the name and what it insinuates, are now likely to pass right on by it. Just like I do to channels like “Bravo”. Oh that’s part of NBC too, Go Figure.

  18. Please tell me someone mistook today for April Fools day? Please? Anyone? If not, I fear for ScFi/Syfy’s future as a network.

  19. I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth… just a little but there’s still an awful taste there.

  20. Wrestling WAS bad enough but this is NOT cool. First of all, the name is stupid. This network name says it could be showing anything (now wrestling makes sense). And then getting away from “genre’s association with geeks and space aliens”. That’s why I turn to this network. I’d rather see old 30’s and 40’s science fiction movies than for them to do this. At least that would be considered “campy”, nostalgic. (Better than some of the scariest night junk I switch from.) Please keep the network aimed directly at the audience it was intended, the scifi audience. There is so much out there already that is worth seeing again and some of the new stuff could have been really cool. NBC needs better leadership. This is just another example of how dumb these guys are.

  21. This just goes to prove that the people in charge have not the slightest clue as to what their customers really want. Don’t dumb it down!

  22. Wow, a way to really show your viewers that you just really don’t get it.

  23. AWWWW idin it such a cute name? ACK! THWIPT! chuff! sorry hair ball there. besides totally alienating it’s fan base with worthless junk like wrasselin’ we know have to put up with executives changing the name to draw in more people that don’t get it. SCI-FI people! No more, no less. period.

  24. I love Sci-Fi the name is awsome, please to don’t change it. But I do have one comment.
    WTF is up with the wrestling programming. I thought I was on the wrong station when it came on! Please ditch the wrestling. :=-)

  25. uh wtf? if it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it
    Syfy is NOT cool in the slightest. Seriously.
    Leave Sci Fi alone!

  26. They should just change their name to WhyFi…because fans have been asking why they do things for years. Nobody can figure it out.
    Farscape is our second highest rated show? Let’s cancel it and make them end on a cliffhanger.
    Let’s cancel SG-1 too…oh wait, let’s not…nevermind, let’s do it.
    SciFi (not SyFy) has had so much potential for the last ten years, but they’ve completely killed it by attempting to appeal to a broader audience and alienating their core audience rather than strengthening the core.
    We saw the same thing happen with G4. That channel started out pretty good (2002/2003 time frame) and had amazing potential, but then they took over TechTV and managed to completely destroy TWO networks in the process. Let’s hope that SciFi keeps their destruction limited to themselves.

  27. Contrary to popular belief, spelling things with a ‘y’ does not make it any more hip or cool.
    I think changing the spelling of the name defeats the whole purpose of the channel.
    It’s the SciFi channel because it airs science fiction shows. And just changing the name isn’t going to make more people watch it. People who stayed away from the ‘geeky’ or ‘nerdy’ shows aren’t going to suddenly have a geek epiphany and start watching the channel.

  28. No! Come on, SciFi, why would you do that? “Syfy” isn’t cool; it’s ridiculous. Why are we trying to irritate the core audience, anyway? Aren’t there enough channels aimed at the so-called normal crowd?

  29. what a dumb idea…

  30. Coming soon to the new SyFy lineup.
    House 2050, the curmudgeonly cybernetic diagnostician with the faulty leg hydraulics.
    CSI:Luna One, watch the team solve crimes on the moon.
    Law and Order: Robotic Crimes Unit, New York’s finest investigate violations of the 3 laws of robotics.

  31. Sy Fy sounds like the name of an Icelandic vaudeville booking agent.
    Numbnuts decision.

  32. I think they should just call it “Sigh-FYE”, then they could broadcast Wrestling, Dr. Who, AND Trading Spaces

  33. What these people fail to understand is that “cool” and “popular” are mutually exclusive terms.
    Example: JRR Tolkien’s works were cool until the LOTR movies came out and everyone and their dog started writing fanfic about Orlando Bloom.

  34. All the beautiful “frakking” swag I’ve treasured from Comic-Con stamped with “Scifi” just became orphans kicked to the curb.

  35. Maybe they can just call it ‘The we make really crappy movies starring Dean Cain and oh yea we have Wrestling’ network?
    This feels like a dumb April Fool’s joke.

  36. Dumb.

  37. That is just so lame. Just when SciFi is getting more popular than ever, they try to distance themselves from the genre? LAME.

  38. My analysis is that some talentless VP network exec was afraid of being laid off and started this long-term renaming project to stay on the payroll.

  39. Very absurd its all I have to say. For many years the brand SciFi have been very succesful. Why do you want to kill brand name that has bring so much to a specific audience? $$$$$$ Ex: Stargate, Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, and many others. NBC, you are doing bad choices here. Like Jay Leno will not bring the rating that NBC is expecting at 9:00 PM.

  40. That’s “Change” for ya! It’s a White House conspiracy!

  41. Siffy? They want their name to sound like “Siffy” ?
    Good call.

  42. Most ridiculous thng I ever heard of. I was considering cutting back on my packages on the satellite dish, this just made my decision easier. We all know this is the begining of the end. Hello!!! Is anyone out there. Damn corporate monkeys. WTF

  43. is it just me or does that sound like a wierd way to explain syphilis? “O’ dear, you have syfi”
    Other than that. why mess with what works? And drop the wrestling. Sci-Fi fans dont watch it.

  44. This is one of the most ridiculous ideas I have heard. I concur with other posters in this comment thread — SciFi, the channel, will wither up and die with this name change due to alienating most people who would otherwise watch it. The only reason for me to have cable has been this channel, but this is another easy reason to get rid of cable, and stick with rabbit ears, since I don’t need, and won’t want, to watch t.v. anymore.

  45. This is a stupid move. Remember when Coke thought it would change the flavor of its world-conquering beverage back in the 1980s only to change it back a little while later? This is the same stupid mistake.
    I already had a very low opinion of the station because of its awful TV movies and offensively repetitive commercial scheme, but this makes it certain I’ll never watch them again.

  46. Usually, there are at least a few disagreements in a thread of comments this long, but ALL of the coments are agreeing that this is a stupid idea. AMAZING! I really hope someone in a high enough spot at NBC reads through all of these comments and changes the person, or at least the mind of the person, that came up with this. SciFi IS Science Fiction. Who knows what SyFy(Siffie)is supposed to be…

  47. Please do not change the SCI FI name! I have been a fan since day one. I know how to spell, like the current name, and think the new name is lame!!!

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