Friday, April 3, 2009

sci-fi/syfy rebrand



Personally I'm loving all this debate over the Sci Fi channels new Syfy rebrand. First of all go to the Denny Tu blog for some really good entries on the subject - also an interview with Dave Howe - Syfy's president.

Firstly I agree with Denny that I can't remember a time when channel branding was so discussed - the last time I think this many talked about it was when the BBC declared how much it had spent on their BBC1 re-brand...

Personally I can't see what people are getting so upset about with a name change - surely the big test will be when they release their new schedules. I know all the hard core fans are grumbling that there will be less hard core sci fi programs – but look at the schedules at the moment – it seems that the channel has been moving to a more populist formula way before all this brouhaha about the name erupted. Also as a bit of an enthusiast for the genre myself, I know just how few decent SF movies have been made, and how many B-movies regularly crop up on the Sci-Fi channel now – you cannot recycle films like Minority Report and I, Robot forever - there is not enough of the good stuff to go round.

So, when I watch programs like Eli Stone – which is essentially a typical lawyer-based drama with some weird stuff thrown in, I think "actually this is pretty good", I don't think "I can't watch this, there's no science in it".

In case the geeks hadn't noticed the Sci-Fi/Syfy channel is a business that has to survive in a cut throat multi-channel world, and if Dave Howe thinks this rebrand will grow his business, then good for him – the viewing figures will be the judge of that. I havn't noticed any uproar about the re-naming of the latest UKTV channels with weird and wonderful names…. The other good thing about having a unique brand name is that it is much easier to search it and work it on the internet - there will be no more confusion about the results in any search engine now.

As for hard core Science Fiction content – mostly that will be watched on DVD or the internet, just as all the fans of other sub cultures do.

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