Monday, March 23, 2009

Where did the Sci Fi Channel go?

Marketing people surely must have been put on Earth to amuse the rest of us. If you've spent any time around them or read their books & interviews you'll see that they're much like astrologers - intent on meaningless calculations, claiming a nonexistant influence, skillful at pretending they have superior knowledge. The difference obviously is that astrologers are mostly harmless while marketing folk can create some real damage.

The Sci Fi Channel name change isn't quite a case in point - the damage there was done a while back when they started ignoring most true SF in favor of ghost hunters and Leprechaun movie marathons. The NYT has a fairly extensive piece on the change (if you don't have a password go to BugMeNot) though you can get the basic info elsewhere.

For one thing I wonder about "syfy" which I thought would be pronounced "siffy" - if you have to do an ad campaign for the correct pronounciation of your new name then there's likely to be some trouble. At least the SFC people are honest that they wanted something they could trademark though really was this the best they could do? Certainly they seem to have paid enough money for it but then that's the curse of marketing - companies think that's what they have to do when really a couple of people during a coffee break could have come up with SyFy.

But SFC is hardly the only cable channel to go down the tubes. TechTV of course vanished years ago into the horrid G4 but we've also seen Food TV relentlessly dumbed down, the History Channel start to avoid history, VH1 become just another celeb outlet. And people wonder why I don't have cable.