Sci Fi Channel’s decision to change its name to “Syfy” in order to distance itself from “geeks” and science fiction, has received a mostly unhappy reception on comment threads. TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel, said, “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…. 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.”
The reactions online have been almost unanimously negative, as fans criticize the company for alienating their “core audience” in order to be more “hip” and moving away from the original programming to include reality TV and wrestling, likening the change to the Tropicana orange juice rebranding fiasco. It remains to be seen how the Sci Fi Channel will respond to the reception.
(See later post with Sci Fi Channel president responses here.)