Syfy: Different Name, Pronounced the Same
Say it out loud and nothing is different. But when the 16-year-old Sci Fi Channel changes its name to Syfy on Tuesday there will be more than what meets the ear.
Syfy President David Howe said the network wants to bring in people who may not think of themselves as science fiction fans, but flock to movies such as "Twilight" and "Star Trek." The network will not abandon its roots; instead, it will expand on a successful climb. In 2008, the Sci Fi Channel ranked No. 13 in total viewers among ad-supported cable networks, according to Nielsen Media Research, and has been a cash cow for parent company General Electric.
"We want to appeal to more women and young people," Howe said. "We want to invite people to see our great range of shows, which will be expanding to fantasy, action, adventure and mystery."
To stay true to its fan base, Syfy is set to air the "Battlestar Galactica" movie "The Plan" in November, and the prequel series "Caprica" is slated to debut in January.
There's also a new version of "Stargate" and a new miniseries, "Alice," based on the classic tale "Alice in Wonderland."
But for the most part, the name change reflects the fact that it is virtually impossible to capitalize on a generic name such as Sci Fi.
Syfy "is a name we can trademark," Howe explained. "We will be moving into digital and mobile platforms and games. We needed a way to own that name and get credit for it."
-- Susan C. Young