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Updated: Sci Fi channel changing its name to Syfy

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March 15th, 2009

I had hoped to look at the calendar and see it was April 1, so I'd know this was a joke.  I'm still hoping my calendar is wrong, but according to The New York Times, it isn't:

Soon, to paraphrase Rod Serling - whose vintage series, "The Twilight Zone," is a mainstay of the Sci Fi Channel - executives will submit for public approval another name, not only of sight and sound but of mind, meant to signal a channel whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, Syfy.

Plans call for Sci Fi and its companion Web site (scifi.com) to morph into the oddly spelled Syfy - pronounced the same as "Sci Fi" - on July 7. The new name will be accompanied by the slogan "Imagine Greater," which replaces a logo featuring a stylized version of Saturn.

I may spell it Sci Fi forever in protest, the whole Syfy thing is pretty annoying, but I have almost four months to change my mind...

Update:  Bill wonders if the change may all be about trademarks and intellectual property (see comments), but after reading more, including the following from TV Week, I'd wonder if it wasn't "Google searching" inspired, if not for it already dominating the top results for the search "Sci Fi":

In some universe, the name "Syfy" is less geeky than the name "Sci Fi." Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel, is betting it's this one.

To that end, the 16-year-old network-owned by NBC Universal-plans to announce that Syfy is its new name March 16 at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.

Syfy logo

"What we love about this is we hopefully get the best of both worlds," Mr. Howe said. "We'll get the heritage and the track record of success, and we'll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand."

[...]

“We need an umbrella brand we can attach to new businesses: Sci Fi games, Sci Fi kids. It does no use to attach ‘Sci Fi’ because there’s hundreds of sci-fi Web sites and sci-fi publications. So it’s changing your name without changing your name,” Mr. Howe said.

Update 2: Here is some more information on NBCU's purchase of the SyFyPortal name and URL.

 
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