This week marked the official changeover of the Sci-Fi Channel to Syfy, which the network is hoping will extend the brand name beyond television while still appearing to its core fans. But if SciFi.com commenters like Grateful Josh who calls this “a terrible idea” are any indication, Syfy’s got quite the mountain to climb in gaining acceptance.
Of course, Josh isn’t alone in his feelings. CNN.com offers a quick snapshot of some of the other less-than-flattering responses:
-”Perhaps the most ill-advised branding move since New Coke,” wrote CNet’s “Digital City” blogger Dan Ackerman.
-”You mean the announcement wasn’t an April Fool’s joke?”, commenter Sue Lee asked.
In an interview with TV Guide Magazine, SyFy president Dave Howe explains the ideation process: “We literally explored every single name out there. It’s a very difficult exercise because these days, to name something and get the URL and trademark it, nine times out of 10 you have to invent a word or misspell something. That’s how we got to Syfy.”
Howe, who added that the channel is “not worried” about the haterade, must have overlooked the comments section from said TV Guide article. But considering that the channel had already incorporated wrestling and such into its usual fanboy programming before the name change, perhaps a re-branding was merited. But is Syfy the right choice?