tardis_gal: dreamsheep with classic Doctor Who logo (Doctor Who dreamsheep)
Syfy Readies Launch, Goes Proactive On Criticism

With the brand set to go for July 7 when 'Warehouse 13' premieres, NBC Universal buys up domain names it considers could be potentially negative
Source: Broadcasting & Cable

NBC Universal announced the name change of the SciFi Channel to Syfy nearly three months ago, and the furor that erupted in the fan community seems to have subsided.

However, that hasn't stopped NBCU from taking a proactive approach to a possible renewal of that criticism, purchasing some domain names that could potentially be damaging to its newly acquired brand.

Among the domain names it bought was SyfySucks.com, according to trade publication Broadcasting & Cable, a page that virtually goes nowhere. However, one domain name that did get away from them was NoSyfy.com. The owner's identity has been protected by Network Solutions, but the domain is currently good until March next year.

The site asks fans to write to NBCU telling them the channel should concentrate on improving the quality of shows instead of changing the name of its network. It uses the tagline "Imagine Better," a play on Syfy's tag line, "Imagine Greater."

Despite that, the transition to Syfy on July 7 is expected to go smoothly both for the media company and the brand.

"I haven't had an e-mail for two months despite the fact that my name is very prominent in chatrooms and on message boards," said SciFi Channel president Dave Howe. "When we canceled 'Stargate: Atlantis,' I had upward of 150 e-mails a day for six months. So the fact that I've had fewer than 20 e-mails in four months says to me that people really do understand why we're doing this."

Marketing for the new name is already underway, and "Syfy" will be touted next month at San Diego Comic-Con.

The rebranding process is something NBCU has been working on for SciFi Channel for two years, and earlier this year decided to use the "Syfy" name. Although NBCU claims it developed the name independently, the brand was first used (and later purchased from) Airlock Alpha owner Quantum Global Media Inc., which used "SyFy Portal" as the name of its site from 1998 until changing it to Airlock Alpha earlier this year.

Quantum Global Media itself had its name changed from The SyUniverse Group Inc., a media corporation based in Florida that owns Airlock Alpha, horror news site Rabid Doll and the upcoming television entertainment news site Inside Blip, which is scheduled to launch later this summer.

"It's a broad-appeal, mainstream entertainment genre," Howe said. "That's what we're embracing with this rebrand."

The new name will launch July 7, the same day its highly touted "Warehouse 13" series premieres.
tardis_gal: dreamsheep with classic Doctor Who logo (Doctor Who dreamsheep)
David Tennant To Finish 'Doctor Who' Run On BBCA
Looks like the British cable channel finally outbid SciFi Channel in the U.S.
By MICHAEL HINMAN @ airlock alpha
Source: Variety

The final journey of David Tennant's "Doctor Who" will not get first air on SciFi Channel in the United States as it has in the past. Instead, the series of specials that made up the show's 2009 schedule will appear where one network executive said is its rightful home: BBC America.

"If I'd been here [during the previous four seasons], we wouldn't have sold it, to be quite honest," BBCA president Garth Ancier told Variety.

Although "Doctor Who" is aired in the United Kingdom on BBC, the American cable channel's parent, BBCA has to bid for all shows coming across the pond with everyone else. In past years, that bidding war has gone by way of SciFi Channel, which has already aired the first four seasons. This time, BBCA was in the driver's seat, and is expected to air the most recent Christmas special, "The Next Doctor," June 27 at 9 p.m. ET, with the Easter special, "Planet of the Dead," planned for July.

BBCA has been first to pick up one of the "Doctor Who" popular spinoffs "Torchwood," especially since its adult language content is more in-line with that network than SciFi. That won't change with this new deal, as the five-episode shortened third season of "Torchwood" is slated to launch in July, likely after "Planet of the Dead."

Three more specials are planned for "Doctor Who" in the United Kingdom, with one premiering in November, and a two-parter for Christmas. It's likely those episodes will air on BBCA sometime in early 2010, possibly as a way to kick off the fifth season of "Doctor Who" with new showrunner Steven Moffat on board as well as new series star Matt Smith.
tardis_gal: dreamsheep with Merlin's neck kerchief (Merlin dreamsheep)
It's Game On For SciFi Channel
'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Warehouse 13' among those featured

The soon-to-be Syfy channel is preparing to move its vastly growing media empire further into the world of online gaming, starting with some games based on some of the cable channel's favorite shows.

So far, the SciFi Channel Game Center already includes a series of "coffee break" style games such as "Frakjack" and "Star Gem," which are based on "Battlestar Galactica" and "Stargate SG-1" respectively, not to mention others that tie in with "Eureka" and "Ghost Hunters." Since its inception, the Game Center has been met with a positive reception, and according to senior vice president and general manager of Sci Fi Digital, Craig Engler, the response to these kind of games comes hand-in-hand with the genre itself.

"There is a tremendous overlap between people who enjoy the imagination-based entertainment on Sci Fi and people who play games," Engler said.

Leading this renewed charge into the digital world is "Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Combat Simulator" which will allow fans of the popular series to enter a Colonial Viper and fry some frakkin' toasters by shooting down Raiders and Baseships. Accompanying the simulator will be "Warehouse 13: Clean Up America's Attic" based on the upcoming series "Warehouse 13" that is expected to launch during the summer.

Both titles will be among 15 new adventures that will be introduced throughout the summer season and not only will provide a unique experience for fans of each franchise but will also benefit the advertisers. And, in turn, should help the network develop further programming.

"Expanding the Game Center is a natural fit not only for our audience but for our advertisers," Engler said. "By offering more casual MMOGs to our lineup, we're giving our visitors an experience that's much richer than a typical online game, but in a way that's still easily accessible from a simple browser window."
tardis_gal: dreamsheep with classic Doctor Who logo (Default)
Because the SciFi Channel is changing it's name and branding to Syfy this summer, SyFy Portal has had to change it's name and location on the web. You can find it here - http://www.airlockalpha.com/


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