Following in the wake of the massive blockbuster success of G4 and Spike TV, The SciFi Channel has decided change their name to "SyFy." Their new tagline is "Imagine Greater." No, it's not April 1st. This is real. I saw an ad that actually said, I'm not making this up, "Bright Lights, Big Imagination, Top 5 Channel." Wha--?
Okay, I'm admit I'm not marketing professional like Dave Howe, but I think I have pretty good common sense. I'm trying to figure out why companies think that changing their name will suddenly cause people to flock to their product (in this case, a cable channel). Remember when Borland was going to take over the world as the newly christened Inprise: Integrating the Enterprise? You know they thought they were oh-so-clever when they thought that one up. Just as I'm sure SciFi is thinking now. Well, you saw how well that turned out for Borland. They became a minor player (and lost a lot of money) until they went back to the name that people actually knew: Borland.
Or how about the above examples? Tech TV and the old G4 merged to become a mighty superpower of… COPs reruns and Japanese obstacle course shows. Awesome! At least Spike has some original programming. The UFC stuff has a niche market. Rassling, well, it's rassling. I'm sure it makes some money. Oh yes, SciFi has rassling too, I haven't forgotten.
Lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.
But really, I mean how do these people get these jobs and make these ridiculous decisions? If you want a science fiction channel to be successful, you don't hide the science fiction stuff! SciFi has been doing this for years. From, essentially, forbidding classic ship-and-crew Star Trek like new shows in the late 90s, to showing every single lousy B movie in existence without little robots at the bottom of the screen poking fun at it (although, in their defense, they did do that too for a few years), SciFi has been in a holding pattern of reinventing itself for fifteen years! Stop it! You show science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Stop wasting money rebranding yourself, changing your name, and failing at entering new markets that have absolutely no interest in you!
Look, some channels just have niche markets. They aren't going to ever become massively dominant top-10 ratings machines. That's okay! Really! Those of us that love niche programming, like science fiction, appreciate having a single place dedicated to it. Stop trying to grow your channel to unrealistic heights. Let it just be the size it is. You don't need the money for dozens of massively expensive original shows and CEO bonuses.
Ride your successes, like Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Eureka, etc., and embrace your destiny as a niche market with geeky fans. Stop ruining what is good about your channel under the guise of entering new markets.
Also, stop cancelling shows that are good and profitable, just because there might be a few more cents in a reality show or freaking rassling (I'm looking at you, ECW). Really. That pisses us true science fiction fans off big-time. I'm still raw at Farscape getting canned without a complete fifth season which would have ended the story arcs at a natural pace and then quickly replacing it with the big steaming pile of fail, Tremors: The Series. (Who in their right mind thought that show would succeed?) The eventual Farscape miniseries was a nice olive branch, but it was far from the optimal outcome.
Whoever is making decisions for SciFi has officially now gotten on the Silly Wagon. SyFy?! This is the dumbest rebranding campaign I've ever seen money wasted on. You have now officially surpassed Inprise. You paid good money for this marketing campaign – i know you did. That was a massive waste. I'm telling you nothing is going to change. I'm stating right now, today, that SyFy will be no more of a success than SciFi currently is. You are wasting your money and depriving us of good science fiction that the money could have gone to.
Embrace your niche! Stop screwing it up by trying to become more mainstream!
Also, more Anime pleez. :-D (Anime historically makes little money for teevee stations, but I have to try!)