For reasons best understood by the NBC Universal braintrust, Sci Fi Channel will change its name and branding this July.
As of July 7, the cable network announced Monday (March 15), it will no longer be Sci Fi (a name reflecting an interest in science fiction), but Syfy (a name reflecting nothing in particular).
Sci Fi helpfully emphasizes that Syfy is phonetically identical. The new name apparently invokes a wider variety of imagination-based entertainment, reflecting that Sci Fi already encompasses fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, in addition to science fiction.
“While continuing to embrace our legacy and our core audience, we needed to cultivate a distinct point of view with a name that we could own that invites more people in and reflects our broader range of programming,” says Sci Fi President David Howe in making the announcement. “Syfy allows us to build on our 16 year heritage of success with a new brand built on the power that fuels our genre: the Imagination. Syfy ushers in a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment that paves the way for us to truly become a global lifestyle brand.”
In addition to the name change, Syfy will arrive with a new tagline, “Imagine Greater.”
The purpose behind the name change, in addition to “opening the brand aperture to accommodate a broader range of imagination-based entertainment,” appears to be that unlike “Sci Fi,” “Syfy” is trademarkable and will spread out into a variety of tangential brands, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.
The rollout of the new name and brand will be timed to the summer premieres of returning favorite “Eureka” and the new original series “Warehouse 13.” At that time, Scifi.com will also move over to Syfy.com.
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