Dave Howe, the president of the channel about to be formerly known as Sci-Fi, explains why the channel is changing its name from an easily recognizable genre term to a made-up word that sounds like it was created by a four-year-old who can't spell.
What it all boils down to is the only line in the original release
that was at all relevant:
It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.
In other words, they can't trademark "Sci-Fi." Howe reiterates that in the new interview:
We need to position our brand to compete more effectively in a fiercely competitive, multi-platform, multi-media and global world. To do that we have to be able to differentiate or separate our brand from a generic category. There are literally thousands of sci-fi movies, sci-fi series, sci-fi Web sites and sci-fi games out there. If we're called sci-fi, it's difficult for us to own or brand our own shows when they're watched on DVD, iTunes, Hulu, Netflix or any other digital media or platform now or to come.
This is the only thing that matters. The rest of it is irrelevant to that point.
Also Howe points out that the oft-quoted comment, "The name SCI FI has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular" wasn't actually from anyone at Sci-Fi/Syfy, but rather by Tim Brooks, who used to work at the channel and is now a TV historian, who said that to TV Week
. Sadly, the reality of rumors and the general incompetence of Internet "journalism" have permanently grafted that quote onto the channel's announcement.
Of course, the real problem isn't the rebranding in and of itself. I get why they'd want a name more unique than a general genre description. It's why Sleuth is called "Sleuth" instead of "the Mystery channel," and why none of the sports networks are called "the Sports network," and why the Golf channel -- well, okay, it's still the golf channel, but who gives a fuck? It's golf, for crying out loud....
No, the real problem is that "Syfy" is a really really really stupid name. *laughs*