The cable channel contacted branding consultancy Landor Associates and went through 300 names, testing them with a 'techno-savvy' focus group of ages 18-34. The end result?
Seriously? I could have come up with that in about fifteen seconds and stuck it on the reject pile without a moment's hesitation. Dave Howe, the president of the Sci-Fi Channel, expands on this:
“We really do want to own the imagination space,” Mr. Howe said. “We want to get the credit for the range of content that we already have on our air and that we’ll be doing more of in the future. 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. 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."
The source article also features some particularly clueless comments by 'TV historian' Tim Brooks about how people don't realise they are watching an SF movie when they see something like Star Wars (I think the lasers and spaceships might have given the game away) and how the term 'Sci-Fi' is considered derogatory in SF circles (true enough) but is still regarded as being 'cooler' than 'Science Fiction' (no, it isn't).
All of this goes to show that what the Sci-Fi Channel (sorry, SyFy) probably needs more than a name change is getting a clue and making some programmes that will actually fill the void when BSG finishes. Caprica may do it (although its very different setting and format will likely repel as many old fans as attract new ones), but otherwise the channel's original programming slate is looking pretty empty at the moment.
EDIT: A Polish friend tells me that the new name does not translate well into Polish at all...