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Much to the consternation and some amount of ridicule from the fans, NBC Universal-owned cable channel Sci-Fi has gone Syfy. Yes, that’s the name of the new brand that launched today, on the networks and online. The renaming is a bid for something more memorable than the generic Sci-Fi branding (something it can trademark) and its hope that it can broaden the user base beyond the coterie of geeks and fanboys, so to speak. The company CEO Dave Howe calls it “broader range of imagination-based entertainment”, which means coverage of entertainment, consumer electronics and gaming.
On the online side, the channel has done a lot previously, including webisodes and spinoff sites, including gaming blog Fidgit and gadget blog Dvice. Its Sci-Fi Wire blog/newsletter will retain the branding. Last year Syfy tied up with Trion World Network to produce a massively multiplayer online game, with more casual games coming down the line as well. The company says it gets about 5 million uniques an month online, and its streaming shows/videos has increased 250 percent over last year, according to this Wired story. Some of its rebranding promotion efforts, here and here.