Sci Fi Channel Strategic Opportunities - June 2009

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STRATEGIC OPPORTUNITIES

CABLEU NEED TO KNOW:

The announcement of Sci Fi Channel's rebranding comes as no surprise, though the new title, "Syfy," might confuse some at first.  (When a network needs to preemptively purchase rights to syfysucks.com is that really a good thing?)  Either way, the times, they are a-changin' for the network.

According to recent press, the change was made, in part, so they can move away from the nerdy and geeky images traditionally associated with science-fiction fans.  Network President David Howe said that the name resonated with the younger, tech-savvy crowd because that would be "how they would text it." He also said, in an intevriew with TV Week, the name "...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." (TV Week, March 16, 2009)

But the bottom-line on the name-change can be found by looking at the bottom-line. "It's a broad-appeal, mainstream entertainment genre," Howe says. "That's what we're embracing with this rebrand." In other words, it allows the network to go after a bigger audience. And that means the opportunity for a broader range of genres. Fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure as well as science fiction are all possibilities on Syfy.

Also in the works are extensions of the Syfy brand as kids' network, a gaming company, and finding a home in new global territories.

According to an article in C21, Network President David Howe is looking for a companion show to Sci Fi's GHOST HUNTERS.  Says Howe, "We absolutely are focused around finding more partner shows that we can launch with GHOST HUNTERS - anything that taps into the supernatural, paranormal space, that gives you that docu-soap of a team that is in these houses, and also the visceral fear element of ghostly, spine-chilling stuff going on within the house. We'd really love to nail another show that we can put alongside GHOST HUNTERS and that's a big focus for this year." (C21, March 2, 2009.)

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