[17 March 2009]
Chicago Tribune (MCT)
Trying to sound less geeky and, perhaps, save an extra letter on its office stationery, the Sci Fi Channel announced Monday that it is changing its name to the phonetically identical “Syfy.”
The reason? Parent company NBC Universal said it can better market “Syfy” as its own brand, rather than one pegged to science fiction (it broadcasts, after all, Extreme Championship Wrestling every Tuesday).
But the news hit the blogosphere with such fervor that it was as highly searched Monday afternoon on Twitter as the AIG bonus controversy.
Reaction on Twitter fell along the lines of: “My instinct is to pronounce it Siphee which sounds like a certain disease. Fail.”
Groups have already sprouted on Facebook, including: “Hey ‘SyFy,’ Geeks ARE your audience. Change it back to SCI FI!”
But the response has not been entirely one-sided. Graphic novelist Warren Ellis wrote on his blog: “I never liked the term ‘sci-fi’ in the first place ... it’s actually a smart marketing move.”