— Karen Brennan, Attorney
The Sci Fi Channel is changing its name to SyFy and the tag line “Imagine Greater”:
Into the black hole will go the name Sci Fi, along with the Saturn logo. Company officials noted one problem with the former mark was that it was generic and could not be trademarked, although Universal Television Networks owns three federal registrations for the SCI FI logo mark. Five new trademark applications are pending with the USPTO for the SYFY mark.
While rebranding may be beneficial for trademark reasons, the question is how the audience will respond. The network acknowledges the new name and rebranding is an attempt to expand its fan base along with its new expanded show offerings. Company officials noted that there was a concern with the limiting nature of the SCI FI mark and claims the rebranding is an attempt to “broaden [perceptions and embrace] a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction,” according to a statement to the New York Times.
According to blogs and various website comments, true science fiction fans feel the name change and rebranding are nothing more than an acknowledgement that the channel is no longer dedicated to science fiction, but now offers “mindless fare” like professional wrestling and paranormal “reality” shows. In fact, every comment regarding the name change in connection with two separate articles is negative (here and here). In reality, I doubt that changing the spelling of the name will draw new viewers and it seems to be further alienating the viewers who are truly interested in science fiction programming.