Monday, March 16, 2009

As Battlestar Galactica ends so, too, does the Sci-Fi Channel

When I first read about this I thought it was a joke and, honestly, still kind of hope it is. Or at least a faux press release because what I am about to tell you takes stupid to a new low, beats it to a bloody pulp, then drags it into the basement of absurdity and smacks it around some more.

For years the science fiction community has been wailing and gnashing their teeth hoping that the suits at NBC Universal, the parent corporation of The Sci-Fi Channel would hear their pleas and make a change. The Sci-Fi Channel has been a virtual wasteland of crap programming. It's not just the brunt of jokes it is a joke. Well it appears someone decided to do more than just bail out on a golden parachute. Though what the suits in charge decided to do is basically drop their trousers and prove, once and for all, that they don't care. According to Sci-Fi Wire and as corroborated with the NY Times and Reuters the Sci-Fi Channel is changing it's name to Syfy:

"SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy, beginning this summer, Dave Howe, president, SCI FI, announced today."

"NBC Universal-owned cable network will become SyFy starting in June."

Why this ludicrous change to a moniker that sounds like an venereal disease and rhymes with silly? Well, according to the NY Times:

"The tweaking of the Sci Fi name, introduced in 1992, is part of a rebranding campaign that seeks to distinguish the channel and its programming from cable competitors"

Isn't there also a Sci-Fi channel in the UK? One wonders if this will affect it. (Probably not as that channel is probably run competently.) But what can you say about a network whose executives have treated their channel as little more than a toilet in which to dump the cheapest, lamest, smelliest refuse programming that comes their way? This "re-branding" only proves they have never [seriously] cared about the genre. Perhaps this will be a good thing. Maybe someone with integrity and heart will step up to fill the void these soulless minions of mammon have left once the corpse of The Sci-Fi Channel finally dissolves away.

According to Reuters:

"The changes attempt to address longtime marketing goals at the network, as well as practical challenges that have stemmed from using a generic term as a brand name."

Contemptible. This was a no-brainer. The "goal" and "market" was encapsulated in the channel name. SCI-FI! Changing the name isn't going to make the channel better as it's going to be in the hands of the same uncaring idiots who couldn't seem to grasp the simplest concept of what science fiction was, is, and could be much less what type of programming a channel dedicated to the science fiction genre should be broadcasting. If you can't grasp that then, honestly, shouldn't you just collect your Darwin award and exit stage left? Viz:

"Though at first blush more fantastical-looking than the current name, "SyFy" aims to telegraph that the channel is a unique destination without being so different from the current title as to lose the network's core familiarity."

The suits don't get it how is changing the name going to improve upon that fact? You can't help but shake your head when reading that. It is like NBC Universal has hired the clueless to lead the blind. The suits don't just not get it they don't want to find out how to understand it because, to them, science-fiction is a waste of time. How else to explain the following:

According to SciFi Wire: ""Imagine Greater" will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment."

This from the fools that have programmed such wonderfully imbecilic filler programming as wrestling, ghost chasers, and zero budget horror movies that wouldn't scare anyone in an post-traumatic stress ward?

But what do I know. Honestly these guys get the big money, not me, not fans of the genre, and if they say an audience is out there for this garbage I guess they must be right. And darn if they aren't going to completely drive the Sci-Fi Channel, er, silly-fuss, uhm, psy-fey, whatever into the ground trying to prove how right they are. But you, and I, don't have to give in to human nature and watch the coming train wreck. Do we?

Honestly I hope the above reports are part of some massive fraud perpetrated on the public. It's just that stupid. Alas all the criticisms I've aired above are true. So, NBC Universal, if you're out there please, whatever you do or don't decide to rename your cable entity currently called The Sci-Fi Channel please, for the sake of sanity, buy a book- do NOT use GOOGLE or a WIKI- about science fiction and give it to the execs at the channel.

Thank you.

#End of line

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