(Granted, my knee-jerk reaction was, EW! And then came, Sacrilege!! But then I thought about it some more...)
Here's the deal: 1)They do not have a moral obligation to market themselves as science fiction, no matter how many warm fuzzy feelings you get when you think about the time you read your first Heinlein novel, 2) They are smarter about marketing than you and I. Trust me on this. They would not be making this move if they had not already tested the new brand thoroughly, and 3) It's not about "science fiction" at all. It's about mainstream, where the money and the untouched audience are.
If you ask non-scifisnobs (in other words: not us) what they're watching, they'll tell you: Lost! Supernatural! etc. These folks love Harry Potter and superhero movies. They go to the "action/adventure" section of Best Buy to pick up I, Robot and Minority Report. But, if you ask them if they enjoy science fiction and fantasy, the answer is HECK NO. They love science fiction, but they don't realize it. And if they do realize it, they'll never cop to it.
Science fiction is more popular than ever, but it's a stealth popularity. We live in a world where Cormac McCarthy can win a Pulitzer for writing something totally derivative just because it gets packaged with a different label. So now is the perfect time to rebrand and reach those folks who would NEVER watch SciFi, but might possibly watch SyFy.
I, for one, am delighted at the possibility of expanding our audience. It's good for all of us.