The Lame Name Game

Has anyone besides me noticed a trend toward changing cable networks changing their name? Three immediately come to mind, one which did it for the better and two which are idiotic in my opinion. Rebranding a company is an expensive and sometimes risky proposition, which has me scratching my head on two of these.

The Good:
TNN (The National Network) changed its name a couple years ago to Spike TV, as it changed its direction to be the Maxim Magazine of TV. This is a good change, the name it more memorable and more in line with the new direction.

The Bad:
CourtTV is changing their name to TrueTV. Now, they seem to be changing to be more about reality TV. That too is a bad idea, but that's for another post. Unless they are dropping the court coverage entirely, its a dumb move. Not to mention, their tagline says, "Not Reality. Actuality." What the hell does that mean? Now I'm confused about whether they do reality TV! There are very few cable networks with as clear a brand. A&E, Discovery, even SciFi have convoluted their brand by adding in either irrelevant or tangential programs. Why would CourtTV want to do this, much less change its name? They obviously think the reality thing will get more viewers, but it seems its at the expense of a strong brand.

The Indescribable:
The WB and UPN combined to form The CW. Same general youth-oriented programming. Different name that means nothing, its an "empty vessel" brand name right now. Which means they have to spend the time and money to fill the vessel. It would've been better to roll one into the other, or at least pick a new name that was indicative of something.

I don't get it. What do you think?

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