SciFi changes to SyFy (Everyone is pleased)

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SciFi changes to SyFy (Everyone is pleased)

Postby emceng » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:08 pm UTC

Sci Fi Channel Aims to Shed Geeky Image With New Name

I cannot adequately express how much this article pisses me off. The glut of weasel words from the asshole TV exec, the fact SciFi shows wrestling, and the whole tone that suggests the channel will move farther and farther from decent programming combine to form a massive ball of hatred in my gut.

When I first read this, I wondered if it was a joke or a hoax. Maybe it is, but there are a ton of stories online about it, so it would have to be an elaborate hoax.

Probably the worst statement from the article is this one: “When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

Who the fuck would text SyFy? Mental patients? People with severe neurological problems? Does this guy even own a phone that can do text messaging, because he sure doesn't know what he's talking about. Who texts about SciFi anyway? Are people sitting around texting "Oh me yarm turn on the SciFi channel?" Who did he test the name with? I would assume either a group of monkeys that have all had lobotomies, or possibly just a room full of marketing drones. It reminds me of the Pepsi logo change. Change for change's sake, in an attempt to pull in young people, while ignoring the fact that the change is retarded.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Kazuke » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

...“It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip,..."


...

Excuse me while I go bang my head up against a wall.

So basically, SciFi SyFy wants to become the next G4?

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Briareos » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

But ... SyFy doesn't mean anything. It's not an abbreviation of anything. It just -- sucks. Wow.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:51 pm UTC

Briareos wrote:But ... SyFy doesn't mean anything.


And "spike" or "oxygen" or "the CW" or "nickelodeon" do?

This is an attempt to rebrand themselves as something other than a genre-name, so that there is a word you can say or write and mean the channel, and not anything else. It is...not unlike any number of other channels.

I am surprised it took this long.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Physics_Geek3.14 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:55 pm UTC

Also I would imagine that a big part of the change is that you can't trademark SciFi but SyFy is trademarkable.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby culled » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

Who cares? The Sci-Fi channel has been showing shit like wrestling and crappy reality shows for ages (as long as I've been watching Sci-Fi channel people have been saying they were better way back when). The name change is just so that they can get a trademark. I don't really expect this to have any influence on the content, it will still mostly be crap and maybe we'll get an occasional gem like BSG. No big deal, sci-fi's just doing what they always did just with a slightly different name.

Kazuke wrote:So basically, SciFi SyFy wants to become the next G4?

The difference being that TechTV was actually good before G4 took over.

Belial wrote:And "spike" or "oxygen" or "the CW" or "nickelodeon" do?

The CW is owned by CBS and Warner Brothers, a spike is a phallic shaped object (perfect for the network for men), and Nickelodeons were small movie theaters and that's sort of similar to the channel.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jack Saladin » Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Briareos wrote:But ... SyFy doesn't mean anything.


And "spike" or "oxygen" or "the CW" or "nickelodeon" do?

This is an attempt to rebrand themselves as something other than a genre-name, so that there is a word you can say or write and mean the channel, and not anything else. It is...not unlike any number of other channels.

I am surprised it took this long.
But it's still pronounced "sci fi", right? So they're not getting away from whenever people are actually talking about it/in advertising/whenever. It's just spelled stupidly.

Unless it's pronounced "siffy", in which case it sounds like junkie slang for syphilis or something.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Kazuke » Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

culled wrote:The difference being that TechTV was actually good before G4 took over.


Touché.

I'll only be watching it for Stargate Universe, Caprica, Sanctuary, and Eureka anyway.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby thatguy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:26 pm UTC

Dammnit, the last (semi-)nerdy channel is getting main-streamed.

It sucks.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby teamcorndog » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:12 pm UTC

*sigh*
Fie!

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Hooch » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:52 am UTC

Wow. I didn't know that people actually took the Sci Fi channel seriously.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Narsil » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:07 am UTC

Aren't the hip 18-24 year olds way too far into Hulu and torrents to really give a shit? I suppose the ones that weren't would be totally up for this, though. Keep in mind that this is the group of 18-24 year olds that would actually participate in a focus group.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:29 am UTC

Narsil wrote:Aren't the hip 18-24 year olds way too far into Hulu and torrents to really give a shit? I suppose the ones that weren't would be totally up for this, though. Keep in mind that this is the group of 18-24 year olds that would actually participate in a focus group.

The director of marketing for Head On said that none of their focus groups thought their ads were annoying.

After that, I have decided that focus groups just suck at everything.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby steewi » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:11 am UTC

*sigh* Fie!

At least you have one. We'd have to pay ~US$50 a month to get something like that. And we can't access Hulu.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Malice » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:54 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Narsil wrote:Aren't the hip 18-24 year olds way too far into Hulu and torrents to really give a shit? I suppose the ones that weren't would be totally up for this, though. Keep in mind that this is the group of 18-24 year olds that would actually participate in a focus group.

The director of marketing for Head On said that none of their focus groups thought their ads were annoying.

After that, I have decided that focus groups just suck at everything.


Perhaps they didn't show the focus groups the commercials over and over and over and over again.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:23 pm UTC

I don't think those commercials were all that bearable the first time.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Clumpy » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

Ha - they're screwed. You might not be able to get a trademark on "Sci-Fi" but you sure as shooting can trademark "The Sci-Fi Channel." They should have left well enough alone.

Still, I guess we got used to the "Wii."

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Hooch » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:43 pm UTC

Clumpy wrote:Ha - they're screwed. You might not be able to get a trademark on "Sci-Fi" but you sure as shooting can trademark "The Sci-Fi Channel." They should have left well enough alone.

Still, I guess we got used to the "Wii."


Nintendo had its own reasons for calling it the Wii. Although those reasons are quite shaky, the Wii seems like an appealing name for the target market of the product -- i.e. casual gamers, adults, and younger children. I doubt that calling it "The Revolution" would've sold as well as it did. Regardless of the name, the Wii sold extremely well, and the name situation was forgotten about in an instant.

Changing "Sci Fi" to "SyFy," however, is just bad if you ask me. I'd love to meet this focus group and see if they had any drugs on their person, because I honestly don't see how this passed them. If it isn't bad for business, it certainly isn't necessary. I don't see any significant changes in viewers occurring after this change.

On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jack Saladin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:48 pm UTC

Focus groups always suck. Focus groups liked New Coke. Test screenings are the cause of every shitty ending in the history of cinema. If companies are going to pay attention to focus groups at all, it should be so they can do the exact opposite of what they recommend.

On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.
I think the way they do it is they give 0.001% of the population these view-tracking devices, and then assume the proportions of those viewers are reflective of the total. I may be completely wrong.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby thatguy » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:30 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Focus groups always suck. Focus groups liked New Coke. Test screenings are the cause of every shitty ending in the history of cinema. If companies are going to pay attention to focus groups at all, it should be so they can do the exact opposite of what they recommend.

Agreed. Focus groups gave us the original Xbox "Type Massive" controllers, for example.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby pseudoidiot » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:32 am UTC

I'm one of the few people ever that actually liked those.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby thatguy » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:33 am UTC

I didn't like them, and I even have bigger than average hands.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jesse » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:57 am UTC

I am just here to tell you that wrestling is awesome, so shut up.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Malice » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:24 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Focus groups always suck. Focus groups liked New Coke. Test screenings are the cause of every shitty ending in the history of cinema.


Not necessarily. It is occasionally useful to see what normal audiences think of a movie. The trick is how you interpret their responses--if they say "I didn't like the ending where the main character died" what they might mean is "it made me feel sad", and it's up to the studio to determine whether a sad ending is appropriate or not. Audiences will tell you how they feel but they can't explain why very well, which is why you have to interpret and not just blindly follow their advice.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jack Saladin » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:54 am UTC

Well all I know is that every time I've seen a movie and thought "holy fuck that was a terrible and terribly out of place ending wtf?" I've gone onto to Wikipedia and under the Production section of that film's article it's had something like "The original ending, which was totally awesome, was changed after focus groups reported feeling "scared and confused" ... "

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby culled » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:04 am UTC

Hooch wrote:
Clumpy wrote:On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.

The Nielsen corporation does two things to determine the ratings. One is that they'll give selected households booklets and the family is supposed to fill in what shows they watched and when. This is fairly short term, my family did it for about a week. There are also have Nielsen boxes that track exactly what you watch, these are longer term although I couldn't tell you how long because I've never actually talked with anyone who had one. From this data they try to extrapolate for the larger population.

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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby smw543 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:08 am UTC

Hooch wrote:On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.
This is the internet. Google, and ye shall receive.

On a related note, WWE apparently took the #1 spot for cable ratings for the week of March 9th, as well as the #2 spot. Third place went to Hannah Montana, naturally.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Malice » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:46 am UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Well all I know is that every time I've seen a movie and thought "holy fuck that was a terrible and terribly out of place ending wtf?" I've gone onto to Wikipedia and under the Production section of that film's article it's had something like "The original ending, which was totally awesome, was changed after focus groups reported feeling "scared and confused" ... "


My point is that that has nothing to do with the focus groups; it has to do with the execs who go, "holy shit, we don't want to scare or confuse our audience!" even though the director's like, "Guys, this movie is called 'Bob the Serial Killer and his Gruesome, yet Intricate and Literate Schemes.'" And then they're forced to make the ending, "And then Bob decided kittens were better than murder, the end."
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Hooch » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:50 am UTC

culled wrote:
Hooch wrote:
Clumpy wrote:On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.

The Nielsen corporation does two things to determine the ratings. One is that they'll give selected households booklets and the family is supposed to fill in what shows they watched and when. This is fairly short term, my family did it for about a week. There are also have Nielsen boxes that track exactly what you watch, these are longer term although I couldn't tell you how long because I've never actually talked with anyone who had one. From this data they try to extrapolate for the larger population.


If it's dependent on estimates, there could be flaws. One half of a region could be enjoying while another one avoids it at all costs.

Sorry, I'm just having a hard time that that many people actually watch stuff on Sci Fi. Then again, if they avoid the original films and miniseries, that makes sense.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby smw543 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:14 am UTC

What do you mean, "that many"? Regardless, I can assure you it is indeed "that many"; if a cable station doesn't pull in enough viewers, cable providers will either drop it entirely or make it a semi-premium channel (think ESPNs other than 1 and 2), because it isn't cost-effective to include it in a regular subscription. I've never been to a place where Sci Fi wasn't included in a basic cable subscription.

And I'm pretty sure Nielsen knows what they're doing. The entire industry of television (from the cost of a 30 second spot to who gets canceled) rests on their shoulders. Joke about statisticians all you want, they know their shit. Especially when billions of dollars are on the line.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Malice » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:33 am UTC

Hooch wrote:If it's dependent on estimates, there could be flaws. One half of a region could be enjoying while another one avoids it at all costs.


Statistics 101: attain a representative sample. That means as randomized as possible, which means they don't just go ask 2,000 people who live together in a small town in upstate New York, they ask 2,000 people from random places, races, classes, etc. (Or whatever the number is.)

--

Wiki says that in 2008 they averaged about 1.3 million viewers (which I think means at any given time). That's nothing to sneeze at.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Hooch » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Please read the last sentence in my previous post.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Malice » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

Hooch wrote:Please read the last sentence in my previous post.


I read it the first time. Try rereading my post, but this time the voice in your head shouldn't be "argumentative internet douche-bag" but "'hmm, that's interesting' bespectacled librarian".
This one, though, this is argumentative internet douche-bag. Kindly note the difference.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jebobek » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Jack Saladin wrote:Well all I know is that every time I've seen a movie and thought "holy fuck that was a terrible and terribly out of place ending wtf?" I've gone onto to Wikipedia and under the Production section of that film's article it's had something like "The original ending, which was totally awesome, was changed after focus groups reported feeling "scared and confused" ... "
Here's my thoughts on focus groups:

If I was asked to join a focus group, would I? Probably not.

Would other people that enjoy/hate the same things join focus groups? Probably not.

Are focus groups getting filled with people like me? Probably not.

Are focus groups representing my tastes? Probably not.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Belial » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:27 pm UTC

Maybe you should rethink your position on joining focus groups, then
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Jebobek » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

Thats true, I guess you need people that hate focus groups to represent people that hate focus groups, within focus groups. Maybe thats why they get so many people in there in the first place, because they feel they are duty-bound to represent their peers? Its either that or the free Dr. Pepper. Actually, I was invited once to a HPV vaccine focus group, but was removed because I was male, which was a shame. I would have went to that one and contributed.

culled wrote:
Hooch wrote:
Clumpy wrote:On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.

The Nielsen corporation does two things to determine the ratings. One is that they'll give selected households booklets and the family is supposed to fill in what shows they watched and when. This is fairly short term, my family did it for about a week.
I was involved with this one too. I bet they were wondering why two 18+ year olds were watching Blue's Clues every morning. Actually, its probably not too far-fetched as their numbers apprently showed a high adult viewing for other cartoons like Sponge Bob. So I support this method as showing the age demographic may help chip away at the Animation Age Ghetto. On the other hand, when 4kids tv starts up a focus group, there's no promise that they'll invite older folks in, unless they're really paying attention to the Nielens.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Zeroignite » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:22 am UTC

smw543 wrote:
Hooch wrote:On a related note, how do they tally up the views? I ask this because there's a difference between flipping through channels and actually sitting and watching a program.
This is the internet. Google, and ye shall receive.

On a related note, WWE apparently took the #1 spot for cable ratings for the week of March 9th, as well as the #2 spot. Third place went to Hannah Montana, naturally.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby FlammableD » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:39 am UTC

I agree, it is an insanely retarded name.

Ahh well, being in the UK and without a TV, not worried.

Oh, and there's nowt wrong with ECW.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:52 am UTC

Flammable, I don't know what kind of addition you'll make to the forum yet, but know this: I approve the FUCK out of your avatar.

Because seriously. Hooch is really fucking crazy. For real.
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Re: I am agog, agast, and enraged

Postby FlammableD » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:59 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Flammable, I don't know what kind of addition you'll make to the forum yet, but know this: I approve the FUCK out of your avatar.

Because seriously. Hooch is really fucking crazy. For real.
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