Sci Fi goes Syfy: Adventures in rebranding

Posted by Dan March 18th, 2009 at 11:09am In General

syfyOne of the biggest hoo-has going on right now in the world of television is the sly rebranding of The Sci Fi Channel into SyFy — another made-up word like Hulu or Zune or Wiki that sounds a little bit futuristic and a little bit, well, Hawaiian.  Or maybe Welsh.

In the case of Sci Fi, it’s understandable that the network would want to get away from its image as a refuge for socially maladjusted mother’s basement dwellers. SyFy, as the suits would have you believe, is a hip place for imaginative television. Furthermore, its viewers are a mystical breed of plugged-in folk who believe that watching television shows about spaceships and having a sex life aren’t mutually exclusive.

It’s easy to make fun of the new Apple-inspired rebranding (this lame and needlessly negative New York Post article) and I’m pretty sure they could have come up with something a little less ridiculous, but rebranding is exactly what the station needs.  If they’re going to keep coming up with quality material like Battlestar Galactica, they need to broaden their audience beyond a niche that is notoriously unhip.

On that note, here are two channels that could deserve a makeover themselves.


Back when I used to watch Oxygen it had a lovable mix of class and trash. It had Oprah’s After the Show, reruns of Roseanne, some forgettable original programming and an early incarnation of the Isaac Mizrahi Show. Now, the station’s flagship programs are The Bad Girls Club (I’ve been watching it — post TK), Pretty Wicked (another show about pretty evil girls) and Snapped (the true life show about women who lose it and kill everyone). While the station’s current tagline is Live Out Loud –that doesn’t quite cut it.  I think a more appropriate tagline would be “Can You Believe These Crazy Bitches?” Or “Don’t Make Me Take Off My Earrings So I Can Beat Your Ass!”


FX doesn’t need a rebranding as much as it needs a branding. It’s basically FOX on basic cable, but it’s home to some great shows — namely Damages (which gets better and better every damn week) and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which I never watch with any regularity, but always enjoy when I do). FOX would do well to raise the network’s profile, considering no one every has any idea what’s going on with that station.


  • 1. sara  |  March 18th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    If Siffy wants to change its reputation as the channel for socially maladjusted mouthbreathing Level 6 mages, they should maybe do something about their original movies. Because Basilisk: The Serpent King and Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys don’t exactly scream “thoughtful person with robust sex life” to me. Although I do enjoy watching the clips of people being torn in half by rubber pterodactyls on The Soup.

  • 2. wojtek  |  March 20th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Fun fact: “syfy” is a gross, crude term for pimples in Polish.


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