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meta-giggle

So there's a lot of outrage going around about Sci Fi Channel's rebranding as "Syfy." Some of it is about language, some of it is about branding stupidity, but most of it as about the reporting on the name change.

"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,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

and

“We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi,” Mr. Brooks said. “It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.”

are good quotes. Brooks is the president of the network.

Much hay has been made of "syfy" being Polish for venereal disease, and it's good for a giggle.

It's not really, though. "syf" is short for "syfilis." "syfy" is a plural form in Polish. It's often used to refer to filth and can refer to venereal disease. It's also used to refer to really bad acne.

"The Acne Channel" is a really great way to distance the network from dysfunctional antisocial boys in their parents' basements. Really it is...

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
bovil
Mar. 18th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
It might be worth asking the folks in Blizzard's marketing department how they feel about the quotes...
voidampersand
Mar. 18th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
"The Acne Channel" gives whole new meaning to the term "pop culture".
howeird
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC)
eeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
dinogrl
Mar. 18th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
Dang, you lanced the words right out of my puss ridden orifice!
howeird
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
Brooks is the president of the network.
Do you have a good source for that? All I can find is he resigned from USA 10 years ago and in 2004 was VP of research for Lifetime. He has written a ton of articles and books on TV trivia, and his web page says he consults for those wanting advice on marketing TV shows.

Not that I care, even though Sci-Fi comes with my cable HD package, any time I surf to it there's crap - either interminasble reruns of Stargate or their made-for-lobotomy-patients movies and serials.
bovil
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Sorry, mixed up my attribution. I thought I had put a quote in there from David Howe, president of Sci Fi Channel.

How's this?

“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.”
rmjwell
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
and we’ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.

Soooo... up till now they've been trying to attract the frakkin' toaster demographic?
bovil
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
Well, it would explain why the new Caprica series is going to be a soap-opera...
kshandra
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Permission to Metaquote the last half of this?
bovil
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
Go ahead, I struck the error I made.
kshandra
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
I was starting beyond that point, in any event.
shutaro
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
They've also been associated with Pro Wrestling, for reasons I to this day do not understand.
bovil
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Corporate reasons, purely corporate reasons...

...oh, and having that 18-34 male demographic that the wrestling folks lurve.
esprix
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
How could the guy who helped LAUNCH the network say things like that? What a fucker.

I predict the launch of SciFi2 within 5 years, like MTV2 where they actually air the stuff they're supposed to air.

Edited at 2009-03-18 01:54 am (UTC)
boywhocantsayno
Mar. 18th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I've been reading the comments on various boards today, including Sci-Fi Wire, which is their own forum. Of the thousands of comments I read (it was a really slow day at work), I think that only two were in any way positive.
aramintamd
Mar. 18th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
Bwahahahahahaha!
Best laugh I've had in ages!

Oh, wait. You're serious.

Really, though, the original intent of the network lasted about six months, when they realized the demographic they were playing to with archival series' like Time Tunnel appealed to a VERY narrow audience.

The only show I'm feeling sorry about missing is BSG, and that will eventually make it to DVD, so it hardly matters. I lost interest when they canceled Farscape. They're all morons.
darquis
Mar. 18th, 2009 08:19 am (UTC)
When I saw the first line of your post, I nearly fell off my bed laughing. Yeah, I'm Polish. Holy headdesk!
karisu_sama
Mar. 18th, 2009 09:19 am (UTC)
WTF?!?
WHAT?? They're not trying to call it (the annoyingly time-honored) "Skiffy"???????????????????????
baronlaw
Mar. 18th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
I'm not terribly surprised considering how many horror movies they've been running lately and the depressing regularity in which good SciFi shows go there to die.
kaysho
Mar. 19th, 2009 03:19 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if replacing a name that they consider to have negative connotations with a nonsense word is really a marketing improvement ... although I suppose their "deliberate strategy" of divorcing Sci-Fi from science fiction may explain why I haven't watched anything on it lately.

Perhaps I need more pimples.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )